Boston Marathon - 2013

OK, let's get this out of the way.


The bombings were terrible.  The loss of life and limbs will never be forgotten.  However - I will not grant those murders any time on my website other than to say death is their just reward.


Far too many good things occurred, both before and after the incident, to allow the 2013 Boston Marathon to be remembered as other than a positive, rewarding experience for the runners, the volunteers and the vast crowds.  While Jackie and I can tell you of folks we met, runners with whom we spoke, and the people in the crowd, Jennifer and her husband Andrew could tell you much, much more.


And, before I forget, after the incident we were overwhelmed by inquiries  on email, Facebook, and both telephones about Jennifer's, Andrew's and our well being.  It is extraordinary to have the opportunity to receive such an outpouring of care.   To you all - Thank You!


We'll try to relate some of the stories on this page and hope that this trip to the Boston Marathon is just the first of many.


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Here's how it ended.  Wow!





And we're just parents; you expect us to sing her praises, but here's "objective" comments by our friend Pam Bullock. 




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Well, before we show up to cheer Jennifer on, we first you to get there.


We had to travel to Boston.  We decided to take a path that led us far from New York city, even though it cost at least 1/2 a day.  (the trip back, close by NYC proved our original decision to be correct.)  Now we're leaving Florida with its 70 degree weather.  And what do we find the day before we hit Boston? Snow, for crap's sake!


It started slow and was melting.

And then got a bit thicker.

                                                                                                And then - colder, more snow & then rain and fog -

                                                                                                     Welcome to Massachusetts















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But we finally go to Boston.  We had a day to kill before Andrew and Jennifer were to arrive, so the next morning we went to a place Jackie had always wanted to see -The Old North Church.   On the way there we passed a building that later was to be famous for a Police Officer's murder.  M.I.T.  Couldn't possibly know this was an omen.



It is the oldest existing church in Boston, but you know that's not its claim to fame.   "One if by land, Two if by sea".  Paul Revere Saw that message by lanterns in the highest windows of the North Church, and the rest is history.





The ACTUAL window was found much later - it had been hidden and stored for safety. 












The Newman Window


The church had private pews.  Each was bought by those who used them - the most costly in the front. 




     Jackie sits in one while the Docent was speaking.      A worker is replicating what the pews actually would

                                                                                             have looked like


The Pews had dividers to keep in the heat from small individual heaters.











The Docent gave one of the most interesting talks we had ever heard on the history of North Church and the history surrounding it.


The sermon area was stunning,


         As was the organ in the rear                                                    And the steps leading to it


The walls of the church had a multitude of plaques.  We offer them for their unique messages










































































It appears not everyone was a patriot - even in North Church





We saw this plaque on the pew nearest the alter.  The name looked familiar to me, but search as I might, below is all I found.  To have this pew, he had to be both rich and held in high regard.  Maybe one of you could tell me more.


12. Samuel Weeks (S. 13) 1726 (?). Next the altar.

The North Church is not supported by any government or church funds - they exist primarily through contributions.  Although there are several places to leave a contribution, the original church contribution box still exists.  Although my picture is awful, we were pleased to have seen it and to placed in it our contribution to the continued support of North Church.


Some views from the rear of the church -


























Jackie is in the front of the Church as we leave


The Old North Church


We did make three stops in the immediate area before returning to the hotel -


In the square behind the church there was the 1st day opening of a chocolate shop.  Now this chocolate was made as if it were 1776, and the taste an consistency might require several opportunities to get used to it.



As we passed by the church we did stop in the small store they operate.  We asked if there was some place close where we could get a small sandwich.  They suggested Dino's.


As this is a small family run sandwich shop in an Little Italy type neighborhood, we took the advice and stopped in.  There was only one other person there, and most of the customers initially were carry out.   After we ordered, several other customers sat down at other table.  When they brought out my sandwich - a meatball sub, everyone gasps - it was huge.  Damn, I wish I had a picture.  Anyway, several folks wondered if I could finish it.  Then their sandwiches were brought out - even larger.  An other customer ordered a chicken kabob , and when it was brought out, all of us gasp again.  If they have the Seafood Stew - Get it! Look for a write up in  Trip Advisor, and if you are in Boston - GO TO DINO'S!


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Getting Ready


That night we pick up Andrew and Jennifer at Logan, and the next morning we go down town so Jennifer can pick up her Marathon bag, number and such.





The 117th running of the Boston Marathon had over 27,000 entrants.  To enter, runners other than those representing charities and such, had to qualify or be invited.  The Elite runners were, of course, invited.  The other serious runners had to compete to be able to join the marathon.  As noted in the news article below, Jennifer was in quality company.


                                                                Fastest Non-Elite Field in Decades

"Of the roughly 27,000 runners who'll start on Monday, more than 21,000 of them got to Boston via qualifying in another marathon. The qualifying times for this year's race were five minutes faster than in previous years, but the slots set aside for qualifiers nonetheless filled quickly last fall, thereby supporting Massachusetts native Henry David Thoreau's contention, "In the long run, [people] hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high."



So Jennifer's first task was to go to find here number and get her race package.  After obtaining the race package, we went, with the crowd, to the "Sports and Fitness Expo".   These pictures were taken with my small "cheap" camera - sorry for the poor quality.



There were a "few" runners getting their race packages.









An then there's the crowd at the Expo - read this as the largest group of sales persons around selling anything that is even he slightest relationship to running.  Made some $$$'s


Speaking of money - we felt we were SO lucky to find a parking area under the expo center.  We were there about 2 hours.  The parking fee was $29.00 !!

















Before we left, I had to get pictures of Jennifer with some of the props provided.  Yes, we had to wait in line for all the other parents, boy friends, girl friends and fellow runners to do the same.





I think she's ready!


So its back to the hotel, our for a high carb dinner and a good night's sleep.  We had to get up at 0530 to get Jennifer down to the assembly point to be bussed to the start line.


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The Boston Marathon - from a crowd's view


What follows is a number of pictures from our vantage point, just past the crest of "heart break hill" near Boston College.   The crowds were fantastic enthusiasts - no matter if a single runner or 30 runners in a pack came past, everyone yelled, clapped, whistled and rang cow bells.  They shouted encouragement.  If a runner had their name showing, even more personal encouragement was shouted.


The crowd at the barriers held out their hands to "high five" the runners.  A large number of runners did so, and encouraged it.  Other runners waved their hands encouraging the crowd on.  


And then there were the signs!  The one across from us said, "Worse Parade Ever!".  I wish I had more pictures of the signs.  They were hilarious, original and well intentioned.  The b best signs, I understand, as told us by Jennifer, were at Wellesley.   Each said "Kiss Me .......".  For example, Kiss Me - I'm a Techie, Kiss Me - I'm Spanish, Kiss Me - I'm a Math Major, I'm Not Picky - Kiss Me!


A number of runners were unusual.  We saw at least two running barefoot, and two others running in sandals.  And of course, there were those who chose other than standard running attire.  We saw  a number of unusual shirts, skirts, and accouchements.


Here's a bunch of race pictures - with very little narratives -


"Worst Parade Ever!"


The only picture we have of the "Elites"


Pretty in Pink


No matter - one runner or thirty - The crowd cheered, clapped, whistled, rang cow bells!


Held out their hands for "high or low fives"










Very proud of the handicapped and their care givers.



Always checking their time - ahead / behind / on schedule?




















                                                                  He's carrying our flag......


                                                        Literally flying along


Pretty in pink  - but with ribbon in her hair















                                                        Come on ref - keep up with the players


Tall, short, in between - they are all giving it their best


                                        Another "Flyer"


Its bad luck to wear your Marathon Jacket until after you finish the race! 

Guess no one told him.

Or maybe, at $100+, he wants to get all the wear out of it he can.


















                                                  Leopard skins or tutus, we're in the race!


High Five - cheer me on!
















I believe in magic!


Here's REAL magic!  His "gang" will see him to the finish line!


And there she goes!  Our Jennifer.   If I can get a !%$@# video to run, I'll show her in action.



The crowd below us as the runners go down the hill and around a curve to a water station.


Another shot of the crowd and the mass transit system we were to use to get to the finish line


                                            Just past the water station



They are the magic that makes the Boston Marathon happen.

I have no idea how many there are - But without them, regardless of organization, planning and sponsors, the Marathon would fail!



Around the corner they go


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We were on the subway as I took the three pictures above.  We were trying to beat Jennifer to the Finish Line.  Andrew told us, as there was 5 miles to go, that we would never get there before her!


Sure enough - he was correct - again. 



WE tried to get to the finish line.  The crowd was as many as 10 or 12 deep on our side of the street; caught between the barrier and the buildings.  You had the move with the c crowd; you could not under any circumstances get through by yourself.  The other side (the bomb side) was less packed, but  no one could across the street.  There fore, I could get no pictures of the finish line.


So we walked past the finish line, one block over, to the family meeting area.  That is one block further than the runner recovery tents.  Yes, we were about two blocks away, waiting for Andrew to find Jennifer when the bombs went off.


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The huge crowd in the Family Receiving Area.  The large block letters signified the fist letter of the runner's last name.


Yes - It's cold and a steady wind in blowing hard.  The runners were wrapped in aluminum heat blankets and anything they had placed in their race bags before they ran.


Looking, looking, looking


  The bombs go off about this time.  Everyone is looking around to find an answer to "What is that?"   I told a woman who asked me that I didn't know - but it couldn't be good.  Notice folks are looking in every direction.


























We spot our girl - Andrew found her!  We're very relived.



She did it!  Set a personal record.  Qualified for 2014.  We've very proud of her!


Maybe it was here lucky socks, given her by Dorothy and Tom - aunt and uncle.



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We have ordered the pictures of Jennifer taken by the Marathon organization as she ran the course and at the finish line.


When they come in, we will post them in the "Family Pictures" section of this website.


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