Since its inception in 1897, the Boston Marathon has never been cancelled. Yesterday, April 20th, was to be the 123rd running of the Marathon. The race, drawing over 30,000 runners, has now been postponed to September 14th. It is hard to say at this point if the Marathon will go on as planned in September. Let’s hope so….somehow.
Although this is the first time it appears the race may be cancelled, it was cut short in 2013.
Two finish-line bombings, 12 seconds apart halted the race. The terrorist bombs killed 3 spectators and injured over 250 others. One of the two brothers responsible was later killed while fleeing. The other brother was convicted and given the death penalty. His case is now under appeal.
On April 21, 2014, Meb became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years, besting many of the heavy African favorites in a new personal best of 2:08:37. He ran to win. He ran to win for the U.S., the City of Boston, and for the memory of the four that been killed as a result of the prior year’s attack. He wore a jersey that had the four names displayed.
“We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston strong.” And Meb proved he too was Boston strong.
With his victory, Meb became the only Marathoner in history to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic Medal (Silver medalist in the 2004 Athens games).
And that is Meb. All of 5’6” and 126 pounds of him..
Meb retired in 2017 after completing 26 marathons, highlighted by his Olympic medal in 2004, and his well-timed, hard-earned victory at Boston in 2014. He had accomplished his goals. And with Boston, he had gone beyond his goals. A great victory at the perfect time.