Boston College students are morning people two days each year: Christmas and Marathon Monday. To us, they’re basically the same thing.
This past Monday it felt like Christmas on the Heights.
Except instead of snow it was 75 degrees and sunny. And instead of waking up at the break of dawn to find a stack of presents under a tree, Boston College students woke up to find Commonwealth Avenue lined with guardrails in preparation for the day’s event: the 120th Boston Marathon.
As a Bostonian since birth, I have attended several Marathon Mondays over the course of my 19 years in the City of Champions. But the race from Mile 21 is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
I started my day by waking up at 7:40 a.m., which was “sleeping in” by Marathon-Monday-at-BC standards. The usual sounds of groans on a Monday morning were replaced with the tune of Rihanna’s “Work” blaring repeatedly through the halls of the dorms. It didn’t matter that the first runners were not set to reach the Heights until noontime - BC students were ready to go at the crack of dawn.
Around 10 a.m., my friends and I headed down to Commonwealth Avenue where we spent an unreasonable amount of time trying to cross the street (only to realize that we would be unable to get back to campus once the runners reached Mile 21). Eventually, we found a spot in front of BC’s main gate and we waited for the first runners to make their way to the Heights.
This year, upwards of 30,000 runners participated in the nation’s oldest marathon. BC students were there to cheer on every single one of them as they reached Mile 21.
As the first runners passed campus, screams erupted from the thousands of spectators lining Comm Ave. Watching smiles make their way to the faces of exhausted runners upon hearing the cheers from BC students was priceless. Of course, the entire Marathon route is lined with excited spectators. However, I am convinced that the amount of encouragement and cheering that occurs in the 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boylston Street reaches its peak at the BC stretch of the Marathon.
No matter how many times I attend the Marathon, watching runners achieve their dreams right before my eyes will never fail to give me chills. This year, however, not only did I receive chills by watching runners achieve their dreams, but also by witnessing an entire student body come together to support perfect strangers.
Marathon Monday from Mile 21 made me proud to be an Eagle and proud to be a Bostonian.