Monday, June 14, 2021

The {Newton} Hills Are Alive


Early this Spring, after one of our runs on Heartbreak Hill, we decided it was our last Heartbreak Hill run; that we really had no connection to the Boston Marathon any more. We were upset about the way the BAA treated the Charity Runners during the pandemic. But everyone was doing the best they could given the very challenging unprecedented situation of the pandemic. 

There is going to be a live event for the Boston Marathon on October 11. Several of our friends are running for charities and the excitement is once again palpable with the kick off of training season this past weekend. It is, to be sure, an odd training cycle but we hunger to return to time honored traditions and celebrations that mean so much to the running community, the people of Boston and the world.

Since it was a cool, overcast morning on Saturday, I suggested we return to Heartbreak Hill for our 5K run. While we arrived later than most of those getting in their first training run of the season, we felt the Hills coming alive in anticipation of the 125th Boston Marathon.

While a road race may not seem like a top priority given the massive losses and devastation that occurred during the height of the pandemic and even now in its wake, THE Boston Marathon is part of the tapestry of life in Boston. It is woven into the fabric of the life of Team McManus. 

What a joy to see smiles on runners' faces again and greet each other without needing to pull up our masks or socially distance. There was a group of runners from Golf Fights Cancer out on a 5K fun run to support their Boston Marathon team who kicked off their training season on Saturday. 

The last time we saw members of our running Club was when we hosted our L Street Water Stop on March 8, 2020. We were oblivious to the news about the pandemic as we gave hugs, everyone shared water, gatorade and gu and we paid no attention to the risk of transmission of COVID. This past week, our Club sent out a notice that sign up for packet stuffing would be happening on Wednesday morning.

We debated about whether or not to participate but the lure and magic of the Boston Marathon, even though it is happening in October is powerful. The last time we did packet stuffing was in 2014 after the Boston Marathon bombings. It seemed appropriate to return to this event after the pandemic.

I also reached out to the Expo about an in person panel presentation this year to share my incredible journey on the road to the 2009 Boston Marathon. Last year we had to do our panel via Zoom.

We are so excited to be able to be with members of our running club and our 'sister' club the Merrimack Valley Striders at packet stuffing. Living near the Boston Marathon course, it will be thrilling to see runners training again for an in person Boston Marathon experience.

The Newton Hills mirrored the emotions and pain of the pandemic last year as the Marathon was postponed and then cancelled as an in person event. But as a Boston Strong community we prevailed and this year it is exhilarating to feel that the Newton Hills are alive with healing, and anticipation for the 125th running of the Boston Marathon.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness

Be sure to listen to my conversation with Greg Chastain and Ed Siegel on their Voices of Hope podcast, The Cardinal Cafe. From Greg Chastain: The latest episode of The Cardinal Cafe is up! On this episode we meet Mary McManus. Mary is a motivational speaker, author, poet, 2009 Boston Marathon Finisher, polio and trauma survivor. She has a remarkable story of resilence, healing, Hope and possibilities. Once you hear her tell her story you will want to rush out to purchase her newest book of poems “Hope is a Garden” which she wrote during the recent pandemic. So please join us for this incredible story.

For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.  

Be sure to check out my website's News and Events page for upcoming and past interviews where I share my remarkable and inspirational journey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.

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