The race may be over, but the memories of what we all experienced over this past year will rest in our hearts forever. From the entire family at the Boston Athletic Association, we want to thank every individual and organization who stepped forward to help us navigate this year’s 26.2 mile journey across eight of our most spectacular cities and towns.
We often talk about community, a societal nurturing to embrace our collective soul to offer strength to one another at times of sadness and challenge. The meaning of the word community has borne fruit once again; we witnessed its definition in the power of the human spirit that successfully crossed the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday.
You have heard a multitude of expressions of gratitude over these last 12 months – all so well deserved. We are very grateful for our superb public safety: state, Boston and local police, fire, emergency medical technicians, all of our first responders. We are thankful for our extraordinary medical professionals who jump into action as soon as the first runners cross the finish line and for those who stand at the ready to assist at our world-class hospitals. Boston is a shining symbol of compassion and caring.
We all understand the potential struggles when the word politics enters a sentence. For the Boston Marathon, the word denotes only a positive meaning. From Governor Deval Patrick to Mayor Marty Walsh in Boston to Mayor Setti Warren in Newton, to the people of Hopkinton where it all starts, and to the city councils, selectmen and women who lead our cities and towns along the route, the Boston Athletic Association could not organize and manage this race without you. We deeply appreciate the attention and the time you and your teams have spent to help us master this maze of detail and coordination. The same must be said about our sponsors, led by John Hancock, who have supported us through the years.
Some of our loudest accolades belong to our cherished group of volunteers. They are 10,000 strong. They come back each and every year, rain or snow or shine, warm or cold. Together we have experienced every millibar of the barometer. What we have learned through the years is why our volunteers come back to participate again and again. There are two words – loyalty and we would include passion, not for the sport of running per se, but rather for the opportunity to be part of something bigger – a moment in time that weaves together a unique fabric of emotion, accomplishment and togetherness. Boston is like no other marathon.
To the runners who dedicate themselves to a goal that strains and stresses every muscle in their body, the Boston Marathon is for you. If you are one of the inspired who have laced up your footwear, you have experienced the sweat, tears, and cheers of a life-time event that no one can ever take away from you. What you have done is build on a tradition that began in 1897 and carries forward today with a promise and a strength that will never waver thanks to every footstep that further empowers an indelible foundation of pride and success.
And finally, to those hundreds of thousands of spectators, your enthusiasm and devotion to the spirit of Boston that drives us is what brought it all together. The world saw you and heard you, and you told a powerful story.
At this year’s Boston Marathon we shared an enduring vision of determination and dedication to one another. We shared a responsibility to help make life better for others by traveling miles in support of them, whether they were friends, families or charities. We stood as one – together – to show the world that we have a lasting bond that can never be broken – and we call that our community.
The Boston Athletic Association