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Race to Liberty Q&A What Boston means to me?
By Mary Hunt
Posted on 7/21/2020 1:21 PM

The Race to Liberty participants had a question posed to them every few days to foster group discussion and for members to learn a little more about each other. Following are some of the responses to the first question:

But first…

Twisted Blister lead by Captain Ryan misunderstood the directions or maybe they just run to the sound of their own tune, because they sent in a team song instead:

Hi Everyone - 

Team B is the Twisted Blisters!   Sing it with me!!!

I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)

Slow it down you say
But all I got to say to you is time and time again I say No!
No! No! No!
Tell me not to fartlek
Well, all I got to say to when you tell me not to run, I say No!
No! No! No!
So, if you ask me why I like the way I run it
There's only one thing I can say to you

I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)
I want to run! (Run!)


Question: What does “Boston” mean to me?

  • Harvard and walked around the grounds and even went inside the library. We also followed the Freedom Trail to see some of the other historic sights. I associate higher education and patriotism of our country with Boston. 
  • Seafood 
  • Hockey - Boston Bruins. One of the original 6 teams. 
  • Boston for me is the five times I ran the marathon and the traumatic events happening around me there in 2013. I finished just before the explosions occurred. I ran again in 2014 and was so impressed with the positive, supportive vibes of the runners and crowds. “Boston Strong!”
  • I visited Boston once as a kid, and all I remember was “the big dig”. It was a construction project that Boston was undergoing when I was there. I guess I need to go back for better memories!
  • Mary - The Wasp- When I was graduating college, I wanted to move to Boston with a girlfriend.  We had never been there and did not know anyone there.  I think we thought it was a cuter Chicago.  This is before internet, so I had no idea about the blizzards and the traffic.  After driving in circles in their round-abouts (they call them rotaries) because they do not label the streets (where it is visible) ...I change my mind.

    As far as the race I would like to go one more time to "stop and smell the roses".  I did not appreciate it when I was younger.  However, since the marathon now seems longer to me in order to qualify, “I might need a little help from my friends..."

  • Susan - Scarlett Witch -- Boston a city with a history.  Boston a dream maybe one day I will age into it. Boston Strong.  A community of runners that are out to compete but also to unite. Courage.
  • Rod - Iron Man--For me it is a goal down the road if my legs allow me to as I age into easier qualifying times.  It is also the name of a pretty good rock band!
  • Stacey - Captain Marvel- or me, a goal! I think my best shot at qualifying will be next fall. I will be 43 but able to qualify for 45 my age at race day in 2023. Depending on what happens with racing and qualifying times over the next year. Still need to get my PR down but doable.
  • Aislinn - Black Widow --My first year over in the states we visited Boston just before the Marathon & I found myself amazed how people run that far. Fun trip with good food and the Guinness was not that bad. It is a dream to run Boston but probably not a realistic one 🤪
  • Boston reminds us about Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the marathon and she did so have to compete as a "man". She was attacked and chased, but she was strong, and her efforts paved the way for all future women Boston runners. 
  • Boston is an example of what it means to be a runner. It is a goal many of us strive for. Those who make it show dedication, grit, determination, strength, stubbornness and so many other qualities runners possess.  We all remember the awful conditions the 2018 runners had to run in, and yet, they all still ran in it, because runners do not quit!
  • Boston, as a town, also means freedom. It is full of history, and a reminder of what the United States went through to make it to where we are today. 
  • We are all in awe of Boston and it is the pinnacle of all races. Bring joy to hear other qualifies or ran Boston. 
  • Alice: I think it is the ultimate amateur race in the US. Unfortunately, I mostly will never qualify for. But I am excited to hear others going to Boston (bowing my head). I was supposed to go this April to watch my nephew run. His 4 aunts and his parents were all going to. It is also great destination for my family's vacation.
  • Kathy R: To me Boston is a huge accomplishment. I will Never qualify but it is such a huge motivator even for me. When I hear someone qualify, I am filled with so much joy for them!
  • Kristin: I fell in love with Boston before I ever ran a marathon. The first time I qualified for Boston was amazing! I have been lucky enough to do it three times and there is something about it that makes it more special than any other I have done. The people along the whole route just make it magic.
  • Adams: I think of Boston as being the pinnacle of running. When a child plays basketball growing up, they dream of playing in the NBA or WNBA. Boston is the equivalent for running. Most people who decide to run a marathon dream of qualifying for Boston at some point.
  • Traci (aka Kathrine Switzer) said that Boston was her first taste of being a working adult. She moved to Boston at age 24 to live and work on her own for the first time. She loves the city and one of her favorite memories is running along the Charles River after work.
  • Ilisa (aka Shalane) was in Boston in 2014 to watch her brother run his first Boston Marathon. Shalane Flanagan practically stepped on her foot as she got to the top of Heartbreak Hill. She also watched Meb run by, the year he won it.
  • Andy (aka Barefoot Ted) has been to Boston once and thinks it is a great little city which means Fenway Park and American history.
  • Beth (aka Courtney Dauwalter) is reminded of her aunt who is a nurse in Boston and often volunteers at the marathon finish line, but luckily not in 2013.
  • Carolyn (aka Rinny) says that Boston is a pipe dream marathon. Both she and Beth agree that they would qualify when they are in their 80s!
  • Bibo (aka Camille Herron) has run the Boston Marathon four times. In 2017, she passed out at 0.2 miles to the finish line and was saved by an EMS volunteer, who she has since become friends with. She ran with him from the finish line to the start line before the Boston Marathon in 2018 and 2019.
  • Jennifer (Sex on the Beach): Kathy Switzer. She was the first woman to run the Boston marathon.
  • Gary (Pina Colada): I just got married and spent our honeymoon on the coast of Maine and flew into and out of Logan. Spent the last 2-3 days back in Boston and doing touristy stuff
  • Kathy (the Hummer Cocktail): Bonus daughter goes to school in Medford just outside of Boston and I love going there. We hike, eat, and do the touristy things.
  • Joannie (Bahama Mama): My sophomore year in high school I drove with some friends to Boston for a long summer get away
  • Rhonda (Tequila Sunrise): I never thought I would run Boston. But then you meet friends/group that leads you down a path and turns you into a person that believes. It is an accomplishment that is mine.
  • Jackie (Rum Runner): I enjoy watching running friends shoot for Boston goals and I love cheering them on. I am inspired by the dedication it takes to get there.