Boston Marathon Heartwarming Stories

by Joanna

The 2018 Boston Marathon came and went this past April 16th, and it was a brutal one.  Pouring rain, 30 mile an hour winds, and almost freezing temps at 38 degrees at the start of the race.  Hundreds of runners dropped out, even elite runners.  To run a marathon, let alone the Boston Marathon, which you have to qualify to even participate, and to do it in those conditions is less than ideal.  The pictures from the day were moving. 

Even with the bad weather, or because of the bad weather, there were some inspiring stories that came out of the day.  One man, 27 year old Steven Stallis, was running the Boston Marathon for the first time and didn’t quite dress for the conditions.  He recalls feeling numb around mile 15 and asked people in the crowds lining the street if someone had anything he could wear.  One woman immediately took off her yellow raincoat and her nephew helped Stallis put it on.  Ten feet away, he had to ask someone to help him zip it because his hands were too cold.  Stallis ended up finishing the race in 489th place overall, thanks to the jacket.  He posted a picture of himself with the jacket and his medal, hoping to find the owner and return the jacket.  The owner of the yellow jacket, Renee Bercury, was found and she can now say her jacket has crossed the Boston Marathon finish line.

Another inspiring story is from the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.  Desiree Linden was almost going to drop out of the race because she was feeling horrible.  Her former USA Track and Field teammate, Shalane Flanagan was also running that day.  Early on in the race, Linden told Flanagan that she might drop out so if Flanagan needed her to block the wind for her, to let her know. When Flannigan pulled off to use the portable toilets, Linden slowed down to wait for her.  Together, they caught up with the other elite runners, which helped Linden get her legs back a little.  Linden went on to be the first woman to cross the finish line.  In 2017, she took second place, only two seconds behind the winner.  Teamwork and perseverance won the day.



Others that dropped out due to the weather, at least 35 so far, will be running on April 29th for what they call Boston Marathon 2.0.  They will run the same course and have volunteers handing out water.  Way to put all of that training to good use!

I mostly stick to 5K races, but I’ve run in light rain and temps of zero degrees (New Year’s Day race).  Nothing terrible.  If you’re a runner, what’s the worst conditions you’ve ever run a race in?


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