The 4 Best Moments of the Boston Marathon

Posted on May 22, 2017 | by

Nothing says springtime in Boston like the Boston Marathon! 2017 ushered in the 121st running of this world-famous footrace. Like every year, it was full of inspiring moments and breakthrough performances. As bona fide Boston Marathon fans—our Boston Plastic Surgery patient coordinator Maureen Walls has even finished the race twice herself—we wanted to share a few of the moments that stood out to us.

“The Boston Marathon runs in my family. My dad took us to watch the finish as kids, and my brother ran the race years later. In 1995, I decided it was my turn. I couldn’t run a mile at first, but I trained and finished…it was the most rewarding thing I’ve done by and for myself. In 2008, I had a second chance to run with my daughter. I wish I had one more in me!”—Maureen Walls, RN, on her memories of the Boston Marathon

1. The first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon retraces her steps 50 years later

When Kathrine Switzer first ran the Boston Marathon in 1967, she had to disguise her gender just to get on the start line. When she was “discovered” a mile into the race, the race director tried to physically stop her from running. Nevertheless, she persisted and finished the race in 4 hours, 20 minutes—and helped equalize the sport for women. This year, Switzer crossed the finish line at age 70 in 4:44, within half an hour of her original finishing time. In her honor, the Boston Athletic Association is retiring Switzer’s now-infamous original bib number 261.

2. An 84-year old woman clocks 6:04:07 as the oldest finisher

Another Katherine—this time, former Santa Cruz, CA mayor Katherine Beiers—became this year’s oldest finisher, the second time she’s achieved this feat in her 11 times at the Boston Marathon. Beiers didn’t even begin running until she was 48 years old, and she credits running with helping her stay healthy and self-confident throughout the years.

3. Swiss wheelchair runners break men’s and women’s course records

Marcel Hug, a.k.a. “The Silver Bullet,”  edged out his closest competitor by one second to clinch his third consecutive win at Boston—and setting a new record to boot with a time of 1:18:04. Just ten minutes later, fellow countrywoman Manuela Schar clocked 1:28:17. We are in awe of the determination and strength of these athletes despite their physical challenges.

4. Competitors show incredible support of fellow runners

During his third deployment to Afghanistan, Army staff sergeant Earl Granville lost his left leg from just above the knee when his vehicle was struck by an IED. In April, he battled severe cramping and heat to finish his first Boston Marathon using a prosthetic leg—and managed to carry his running partner over the finish line after she collapsed from heat and exhaustion.

It’s noteworthy that Granville’s story is only one of many just like it. The high temps of the day caused numerous runners to struggle toward the end of the race, and armed service members and civilians alike did not hesitate to help their fellow runners make it to the finish.

Whether you are an avid runner yourself or prefer Netflix marathons, it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride over Marathon Monday as a Bostonian. Moments like these show us the best side of people and remind us that with a positive attitude, hard work, and confidence in our abilities, we can accomplish so much. Do you have memories from the Boston Marathon you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

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