The end is always the most memorable part. My “right on Hereford, left on Boylston” from last year is still fresh in my mind, though it still feels like a blur.
I don’t remember any spectators, though I’m sure they were loud. I was so desperate to see the finish line that I shut most everything out. I recall running next to a woman as we hit Hereford, and that’s it. There had to dozens of other runners, but my focus was on finishing.
After the turn onto Boylston, this woman seemed to pick up her pace. And so did I. We never shared a glance or any words, but the push was on. Then she started to pull away. And then I heard my name announced, which was a complete surprise. Finishing ahead of this woman no longer mattered – hearing those simple words – Tim Dumas – gave me such a rush. And then it was over.
Immediately after crossing that coveted blue and yellow stripe that marks the end of the Boston Marathon, I felt nauseous. The feeling lasted for at least an hour. It’s a sensation I dread. And it’s one I won’t have to endure this year. Not in Boston anyway.
I’m not running.
After weeks of peaks and valleys health, I will officially be a DNS.
On Tuesday I had my appendix removed. After a long night of stomach pain, it was a relief to have the offending party removed. Didn’t need it anyway. Tuesday of course was the one-year anniversary of the bombings. And as I sat in my hospital bed, the reflections of that day were all over the TV. I wanted nothing to do with it. Every time I saw someone running in an addidas jacket – you know, the kind with the three stripes along the sleeves – I got jealous.
But now that a day has gone by, I’d still like to be part of this great event. I can’t run for about a month, but I can’t tear myself away from the Boston Marathon. Maybe I can cheer the runners from Natick, where a group of my friends gather each Patriots Day. Or maybe in Brookline, near Mile 23, where my brother lives. Somehow I’ll be along the course.
And this year, no more stomach pains.