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Virtual Boston

By: Tiff Currier

Back in March when I heard that the Boston Marathon was going virtual, I decided this was most likely the only way I was ever going to be able to participate in this race and signed up.  I am not a fast runner so I knew I would never be able to qualify, but I wanted to be a part of the Boston Marathon. Over the months leading up to the virtual race in October I asked myself many times do I really get to say I ran the Boston Marathon? I didn’t speak much about running the virtual Boston Marathon because in my heart I wasn’t running from Hopkinton to Boston and up Heartbreak Hill among many other landmarks along the way.  

Over the months my husband kept telling me this race in some ways is going to be harder than running up Heartbreak Hill because on the course for the marathon there are thousands of people supporting you along the way. When you run, you are not going to have anyone to chase down no fans cheering you on other then what family is going to come out. I didn’t really believe him and thought he is just saying this to make me feel better about my run, but boy was he right (just don’t tell him I said that LOL). 

On Saturday October 9th my mom and crew dropped me off at Andover Potter Place Depot at the rail trail to start my journey. My support crew consisted of my husband and my mom. I had a friend and my son Gunner taking turns running with me so I was not alone in case I ran into trouble, but looking down the rail trail with no one in the distance to chase down there was a feeling of emptiness and being so alone.  I know I had someone with me the entire way but they were switching out so I knew I was the only one running the entire 26.2 miles. My mom and husband were a huge part in making sure I had everything I needed and finding side roads to see me along the way, it really kept my spirits up knowing they were not far ahead waiting to cheer me on.  

With each transition of runners with me, the closer I knew I was getting to my goal. That is when the mental game starts with any marathon that you do and you start to question yourself. Can I really finish this race, did I prepare enough and most of all what the heck was I thinking when I signed up for this? My last transition was in Canaan NH on Depot Street, at mile 20.6, and my son Gunner was going to finish the reminder of the race with me. I also knew at this point my race crew was heading to my finish line and would not see them again until then.  

That last 5.6 miles seemed like it took as long as the previous 20 miles had, but having Gunner with me telling me about different landmarks that were coming up and how far till the next landmark was huge for me. He was more than just someone making sure I was ok or to call for help if I needed it, he was my encouragement for those last very long miles. As I got to Blackwater Road across from Mascoma Valley Regional High School he let me know I had just about 1 mile to go. I knew my husband and mother were going to be up the trail waiting for me to come in but I didn’t know the surprise that he had planned for me. As I approached the 2021 Boston Finish line he created for me, along with balloons and a finisher tape to break provided by Lori Bliss Hill and her daughters Baylee and Trinity (who were also there to cheer me on), the tears began to run down my face.  This was the moment I realized just because I didn’t start in Hopkinton and finish in Boston doesn’t mean I didn’t run the Boston Marathon; I ran my Boston Marathon my way in my time.  

In all honesty I cannot imagine running my Boston Marathon any other way. From the perfect weather, to the beautiful leaves changing, the company and support I had along the way it was absolutely amazing and perfect. This day would have never been able to happen if I did not have the full support of my husband and family who gave up countless hours with me so I could put in the miles needed to reach my goal. So to them thank you for helping me make my dream of running this race come true.

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