GROWING UP IN BOSTON in the ’70s, I didn’t know our Marathon was a world-famous sporting event. All I knew was that my dad got excited when Patriots Day arrived. And I remember feeling awestruck by the enthusiasm of the enormous crowds into which we crammed ourselves on Commonwealth Avenue.
For these reasons, I swallowed hard and accepted a charity spot in the 2009 Boston Marathon. At 36, I’d never run more than 5 miles in my life. But a cherished bib number had fallen into my lap just six weeks before race day. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.