Saturday, May 3, 2014

Meb Won? Really? Really!

One year ago, our City was trying to get its bearings after the events of 4/15/13. Spaulding Rehab had just opened its state of the art healing place to welcome the survivors and help them begin to find their strength. On Facebook and in the news there were stories of heroes and survivors. The City was preparing for a #onerun on 5/25. There was a heaviness that hung in the air as we came together as a City to begin to heal.

This year, even though the marathon was almost two weeks ago, the news feeds on Facebook and Twitter are filled with joyous celebrations. New photos of my friends with their medals fill the feed. Runners are talking about their next events and the City is gearing up for the Run to Remember and the BAA 10K. As for me, I am going to volunteer at the Run to Remember, run the Corrib Pub 5K (the first race I ever ran in 2008) and spectate at the BAA 10K.

And on Meb Keflezighi's Facebook page, we are all basking in the afterglow of his win.

One person commented that it was the biggest game of telephone out on the course about Meb being in the lead and then winning the 2014 Boston Marathon.

We were watching the race just before mile 23 on Beacon Street. My husband decided to take a video of the race as we were waiting for the lead male runner to come through. He had no idea that it would be Meb as you can tell from our excitement in this video:

Tom started tracking 8 second lead then a 5 second lead...At that point we were watching the iPhone rather than the runners in front of us. We sat down and joined our intentions together for Meb. After he won, we went wild and then the crowd around us went wild.

My husband was so moved that he made a MEB WON sign.

Runners were incredulous asking, "Did he really?" and then fist pumped, smiled, screamed and got their second wind to go the final 3+ miles to the finish line. People around us were asking what Tom had written on the sign to get people all revved up like that and we told them. Several people came over and hugged Tom. When his arms tired, Ruth Anne held it up. She got hugs and fist pumps and smiles.

Here is one of my favorite responses to the MEB WON sign:

"I knew Meb was gonna win. I told him so," said a runner passing by who saw Tom holding up the sign that said "MEB WON!" to inspire the runners just before mile 23 last Monday. We thought, "Oh sure you did." After this runner completed his Marathon he found us on Beacon Street. He had his medal and showed us his bib that was signed by Meb. He told us he saw Meb at the Expo. Meb told him that he was not the fittest he'd ever been but he was the healthiest. Meb said his wife told him that's just the way she likes it to be. This runner told Meb that he was gonna win and had him sign his bib.

And had it not been for Meb's win, we would not be the honored recipients of one of our most treasured Marathon souvenirs, a random act of kindness from Maureen Jones of Rochester, Minnesota. You can read about it in my blog Meet Maureen Jones: I Just Wanted to Show My Gratitude. Maureen told us that there was another person who was holding a sign at mile 19 saying that Meb Won - Really! She was so excited but no one else around her was sharing in the excitement. When she saw our MEB WON sign, she knew that we were meant to receive the last of her thank you to the fans note.

Below are quotes from Meb's facebook page:

You have know idea the fire you've ignited, sir.

I was on the Boston course, hours behind you, when one of the race security people shouted out the news that you had won. I can tell you, every person around me felt a surge of energy and strode out a little quicker because of what you had accomplished. Thanks for giving us this victory, Meb.

The runners, the fans, the victims returning, the city rising up, I didn't think it could get any better. And then Meb won! I could not have had a better day! And Meb's words after the race show what a classy guy he is. I'm lucky and proud to have been a part of it. Thank you, Meb!

MEB, I was about at heartbreak when I first heard someone scream out, "an American won!" I looked at my watch and thought no way! The chants of "USA, USA" started... (I had to tell myself to relax as I still had a bunch to go and didn't want to crash due to a pace change!). It was awesome! This is my 10th Boston over 20 years and I have never felt such excitement on the course. It has always been amazing but this year was times 10..

And this is a post from Meb:

I loved the fan turn out in Boston! Thanks for sharing this picture Kati Hanlon Mayo. Check out the lady in the green vest! Thank you for all your support.

One year after our City was trying to heal and recover from the devastating events of 4/15/13, a hero emerged from the pack to bring a community together with joy, tears and a celebration that continues on.

"Meb Won?" runners asked as they saw the sign my husband made. "Really?" Yes really and I want to say a huge thank you to you Meb for being Boston Strong!

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