Marathon runners look forward to mile marks during the race like a thirsty man looks for an oasis in the desert.
Mile markers at the Boston Marathon, however, are iconic and special.. So, based on my sixteen Boston Marathon appearances, I have selected my choices for the top ten Boston Marathon mile marks.
10. MILE 0-The greatest start of the greatest marathon in the world. The town of Hopkinton says it all with the sign, "It all starts here."
9. MILE 4-The Ashland Clock Tower-After running through the countryside, runners encounter get their first taste of the incredible Boston Marathon crowds, as the Ashland Clock Tower is a favorite viewing venue among local spectators.
8. MILE 6-The Framingham Train Depot-The next town along the way seems to attempt to outshine Ashland. In Framingham, crowds are large and enthusiastic. Mostly downhill so far, runners have completed their first 10K in the town of Framingham.
7. MILES 12&13-It's been called the "Tunnel of Love," and the "Screech Tunnel." Thousands of coeds from Wellesley College show love to each and every runner. No marathon can boast a finer half marathon point confidence booster.
6. MILE 17-The Newton Hills-The race begins now. Legs, which have enjoyed over 16 miles of gentle slopes, along with many downhills, will now be punished by the four Newton Hills.
5. MILE 20-'It's a Heartbreak'-"I've climbed some hills. Have I climbed Heartbreak Hill yet?" The answer is, "No." It's crest is at about 20.5 miles.
4. MILE 21-You've done it! Heartbreak Hill has been conquered. Students at Boston College cheer loudly as you glide down the hill.
3. MILE 25-Fenway Park's beautiful Citgo sign approaches. It is to your left at 25.2 miles. One mile to go.
2. MILE 26-Indescribable crowds on Boylston Street. Goosebumps, chills, raw emotions envelop you. You laugh, you cry, you wave, you ham it up. And...you should!!
1. MILE 26.2-The finish line of the Boston Marathon. For runners, It's the World Series, the Super Bowl, The Masters all rolled into one, and you have conquered it.
You have finished the Boston Marathon.