26.2 Things I Learned from the Boston Marathon

Every marathon is a showcase of strength and endurance, an experience that simultaneously inspires and petrifies. But the Boston Marathon is something else entirely.

Boston has an aura. Every Patriots Day, it seduces 30,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of fans, curiosity seekers and documentarians, all with the same desire to capture something extraordinary.

Other marathons market themselves as “Boston certified,” a gateway to something better if only you can earn it. Runners say things like “BQ,” because even qualifying to compete at Boston is a phenomenon. And, yes, you can just say “Boston” because, like any real star, this event’s full name is gratuitous.

Speaking of which, today I ran Boston for the first time.

I needed 3:21:19 to get from Hopkinton Green to Boylston Street, a journey of 26.2 miles and 10 million emotions.

Needless to say, I learned a few things along the way. In honor of the grandest 26.2 miles in sports, here are 26.2 things I learned from running the Boston Marathon.

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