It began for me in 1978.
Having run my first marathon in the fall of 1977, I fell in love with the race itself. There's something about training for a marathon. It truly is an endeavor in which one gets out of it what one is able to put into it. There are no shortcuts, there are no excuses. Do the work or the marathon will humble you.
I quickly decided, after a marathon debut time of 2:49, that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon.
Over a span of five decades, I've run Boston sixteen times. In 1983, on one of those perfect race days we all experience on rare occasions, I ran my personal best marathon time, a 2:22:54, finishing eleven seconds behind Joan Benoit, (Samuelson now) who set the women's marathon world record with a 2:22:43.
A back injury in 1981 sent me to the Mass Pike, where I hitched a ride to the finish, and in the searing heat of the 2012 race, I bailed out at mile 18.
At the Centennial race in 1996, I participated on a team that finished second in the Master's Division.
The two 'Top 100' medals, along with the certificate memorializing my 1983 race adorn my wall, and are among my most prized running awards.
In 2013, I crossed the finish line in 3:04:13, began celebrating with my wife by quaffing a sip of Guinness, before terror struck the world's most iconic footrace.
Two torn hamstring tendons may prevent me from returning to the world's oldest marathon, but with two weeks until the 119th running of the Boston Marathon, I will share some of my memories of the race.
If you've run the Boston Marathon, you'll relate to many of my stories.
If you haven't run Boston, put it on your bucket list now,
There's no footrace like it in the entire world.