POPSUGAR Celebrity

Boston Strong: A View From Marathon Weekend

Apr 21 2014 - 2:48pm

Last year, I was lucky enough to be invited to run the Boston Marathon as a guest of Adidas. It was my first marathon, and a storied one at that, so I was more than a little nervous. But just about everything about the race put me at ease — the camaraderie on my runner-filled flight into Boston, the advice from Boston Marathon veterans that flowed freely in every conversation, and the thousands of spectators lining the course and cheering us on. The tragic bombings at last year's race, however, turned my Boston Marathon experience into an incomplete one: I was still running when they went off and had to exit the course before finishing.

There were approximately 5,600 runners in the same boat: like me, they are back this year to finish their race, making this year's field of runners one of the biggest ever. The number of runners isn't the only difference — as you would expect, this year's prerace events and commemorations, while celebratory, are also solemn and respectful, and security is a lot tighter [1] now. I spent some time walking around the city along with some other POPSUGAR editors to take in the atmosphere. Here's a view from Boston, from what we and other marathoners have experienced this weekend.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [2]

Ready, Set, Go

The iconic sign where it all begins, 26.2 miles outside Boston.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [3]

Signed and Sealed

Runners signed the Adidas wall at the prerace expo.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [4]

One Year Later

An exhibition showcased the mounds of old shoes runners donated as part of a makeshift memorial during last year's race.

Source: Instagram user roni_carrillo [5]

Ducks in a Row

Early-morning runners out for a last prerace jog in the Public Garden found a family of ducklings [6] doing the same.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [7]

Hearts on Boylston

A memorial to the victims of the bombing that has been up since last year.

Source: Instagram user twinsrun [8]

Never Forget

This memorial remembered the four people who died during last year's bombing and subsequent manhunt.

Source: Instagram user nadiahucko [9]

Command Center

We snapped police and fire trucks readying for the race. This year, 3,500 police officers patrolled [10] the course, double the amount from last year.

Photo: Michele Foley

Beer Me

These commemorative coasters were paired with a pint of special-edition Samuel Adams Boston 26.2 Brew. The brewery donated all proceeds [11] from last year's Boston 26.2 Brew to help the victims and their families.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [12]

Marathon Daffodils

Yellow daffodils were everywhere in Boston, part of the Marathon Daffodil Project [13]. Project volunteers planted 100,000 bulbs in time to bloom for Patriots' Day.

Source: Instagram user espn_images [14]

Mural Project

A mural, colored by passersby, lined a street in Boston.

Source: Instagram user travismcclung [15]

Boston Strong

Memorials were everywhere in the city. This one was at Trinity Church, near Boston Common.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [16]

At the Finish

Runners took in the finish-area atmosphere a day before the race.

Source: Instagram user aquinn2005 [17]

Family Tradition

POPSUGAR VP of Content Molly Goodson — a Boston Marathon first-timer — posed with her dad, who's run the course several times.

Source: Instagram user mollygoodson [18]


It's official — I've got my bib! Now for the hard part.

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness [19]

Pulling an All-Nighter

While runners slept, editor Michele Foley made sure to get one last night of research in before heading into the press room for the big day.

Source: Instagram user POPSUGARFitness [20]

Why We Run

Well-wishes lined a wall at the prerace expo.

Photo: Michele Foley

Behind the Curtain

Michele's view from the press room on Marathon Monday. This was one of three rooms packed with journalists.

Photo: Michele Foley

Heavy Metal

A look at the medal received by the finishers for a job well done.

Source: Instagram user fitnessmagazine [21]


A heat-reflective hooded cape was provided to all runners to help keep them warm postrace.

Source: Instagram user POPSUGARFitness [22]

Still Standing

A look at the mantra that Molly — and so many others — had on repeat during the marathon.

Source: Instagram user mollygoodson [23]

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