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Running the 118th Boston Marathon: Ainsley Winship

Marathoners took the starting line for the running of the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday in Hopkinton, MA, one year after the bombings on Boylston Street.

With the staggered starts, the Mobility Impaired started at 8:50 a.m., Push-Rim Wheelchair at 9:17 a.m., Handcycle at 9:22 a.m., Elite Women at 9:32 a.m., Elite Men at 10:00 a.m.. From there, four waves of runners in a half hour stagger took off. As the marathoners began to make their way to the heart of Boston to the finish line, Fenway Park was crowded with fans for the 11 a.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Making way to the notorious Heartbreak Hill marking the 20 miles and 6.2 left to go, cheers can be heard from Wellesley College as the girls blast the music and cheer every participant up the hill.

Volunteer assistants for the marathon told crowds names of marathoners, so they can cheer them and give them additional motivation.

Once up the hill, its downhill towards Boston College, past Fenway towards Commonwealth Ave., right on Hereford, and one final left turn to Boylston, and across the finish line.

Standing in the crowd there is great admiration to the marathoners. The preparation for this day took a lot of long training and dedication. There also a resilient sense of pride in the marathoners.

Standing strong one year after the bombings, staying strong and willing to take a risk for potential danger again.

Despite the scare, security was very tight and orderly. Checking stations were set up, and roads were blocked off to marathoners only, media, and ticket holders. Additional emergency personnel were sworn in for the day to help keep the peace between spectators and marathoners, as well as deter possible threats.

The Boston Marathon had a greater number of participants and spectators this year. Ready to support one another and show the world that Boston will not back down in the face of adversity. On Marathon Monday; they showed their strength and dedication.

While running past all the spectators, as part of the full marathon or not, you were given a sense of motivation. Their motivation pushed to make it to the end of your destination.

The support and cheers added to the adrenaline rush when the finish line is in a close proximity, giving everything you have to reach the end.

Seeing family members bust into cheers and screams as they see you run down the street adds to the motivation and drive to keep going. It kept the mind off the pain arising in the body, pleading with yourself to just stop.

Once you finish the race, remembering all of the months of training and hard work put into making the completion of the race possible are worth every second.

The accomplishment of completing the marathon, just like any race, makes you accept the blisters on your feet, cramping muscles and the couple days of exhaustion. But you know the next day your going  to get up, stretch out the muscles once more, put on your sneakers, and go for a run. It is a never ending cycle. Once a runner, always a runner.

Congratulations to all the marathoners on their hard work. Wear your medal and jacket proudly.


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