The Most Moving Marathon
Caleb Daniloff runs the run, and talks the talk
Click above to see and hear Caleb Daniloff’s perspective on what might be the most amazing athletic event of all, the Boston Marathon. Photos by Alonso Nichols, Andrew Reed Weller, and Kalman Zabarsky
As hard as he trained, absorbing advice and insight from other runners, steeping himself in mythology and tradition, Caleb Daniloff wasn’t fully prepared for the amazing spectacle and experience that is the Boston Marathon.
From the moment the race began in Hopkinton, crossing the starting line at around 10:30 a.m. amid a throng of runners and celebrants, the spirit of his fellow athletes and the cheers of the crowd buoyed him in a way no one can truly appreciate until they have been in those sneakers.
Checking in with BU Today editor Seth Rolbein via cell phone along the famous route, Daniloff’s street-level account — the congestion, the tempo, the emotions, the color, the highs, the gut-check that must come with every marathon — creates an intimate, intense mosaic of what it means to be part of the world’s most compelling populist athletic event.
“It’s like Woodstock on sneakers,” Daniloff cracked early on. As the miles piled up, his breathing got harder, but his mood remained high. “The cheering, the encouragement — you can’t even imagine how much energy it gives you.”
“Be the Brickie,” Daniloff reminded himself on his final leg (or is that his final legs?), invoking the spirit of “Bricklayer” Bill Kennedy, one of the greatest and most colorful Marathon runners and winners of all. Kennedy might not have been impressed with Daniloff’s time — unofficially, 4 hours, 20 minutes, and 5 seconds (averaging just under 10-minute miles) — but he would have celebrated the attitude and intent that got a 39-year-old writer across the line and into the arms of his wife, Christine, exhausted but intact, finished but fulfilled.
It’s way too early to talk about next year, but don’t count our man out. With a little experience under his belt, he might just win it.
This is Caleb Daniloff’s seventh and final dispatch in his series about training for, and running, his first 26.2-miler. Click here to read previous installments.
Caleb Daniloff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers can still support Caleb’s marathon charity, the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Mass., by clicking here. Once back on his feet, Caleb plans to post final impressions of the race at his marathon blog. Check back later in the week.