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The 2016 Boston Marathon: It Is More Than a Race

Posted April 27, 2016

Beth Wolfe, CAGS, ATC

By Beth Wolfe, CAGS, ATC

April 18, 2016 was the 120th Boston Marathon. From Hopkinton, Mass. to Boston, Mass. thousands of spectators crowded the sidewalks to cheer on over 30,000 runners as they ran right on Hereford Street and left on Boylston Street. Over 1,000 medical volunteers from across the United States came together to provide care for the ill and injured. Despite the warm temperatures early in the day and the cooler temperatures into the afternoon, the runners and volunteers embraced the day and were thankful to not have to battle rain and cold as they did in 2015.

One of the most memorable moments from this year’s marathon came from the perspective of athletic training students from Louisiana State University. These students stated that of all the events and festivities on marathon weekend their favorite part was the people. The events of 2013 forever changed the hearts and lives of many, and as we continue to heal the marathon has now become a symbol of unity, peace and family. Patriot’s Day in Boston is more than just a marathon and a road race: it is about people.

On Friday, April 15, the third anniversary of the bombings, Mayor Marty Walsh led the second annual One Boston Day1. One Boston Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the resiliency, generosity and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston and those around the world in response to the tragedy of April 15, 2013. On April 15 each year, Bostonians and citizens from around the world are encouraged to perform random acts of kindness to celebrate the spirit of Boston and of the marathon. Next year, we hope that Athletic Trainers from across the country will engage in One Boston Day as we look forward to carrying on a tradition of love, hope and peace into our communities.

Overall, the essence of the Boston Marathon is best expressed by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Ari Ofsevit, an ill runner who had to be carried across the finish line at this year’s race, said “There’s 30,000 people in the Boston Marathon, and I think 29,900 would have done the same thing…It’s about paying it forward.” 2 I’m proud to be a part of a profession and family that truly cares about their students, colleagues, patients and over 30,000 runners on Boylston Street.

2017 will be another great year and race. Until then, cheers!

References

1. One Boston Day. http://www.onebostonday.org/. Accessed April 20, 2016. Boston Globe. Marathon runner carried across finish line said kindness ‘captures the spirit of the race’.

2. Published April 20, 2016. Accessed April 21, 2016. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/04/20/marathon-runner-carried-across-finish-line-said-their-kindness-captures-spirit-race/M1MNl8VqrmOl251K5ONcRL/story.html.

About the Author

Elizabeth “Beth” Wolfe is the Injury Prevention Coordinator and Research Assistant for the Tufts Medical Center Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery in Boston, Massachusetts. Wolfe received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina (2010) and master’s in Health Education (2012) and CAGS in Sport Psychology (2013) at Boston University. Wolfe is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Health Science in Healthcare Administration and Leadership at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A few of her research interests include bike and pedestrian safety; fall prevention; concussion/head injury documentation and coding; and performance/quality improvement programming for the profession of athletic training. Wolfe is an active medical volunteer for the Boston Athletic Association and numerous other races/events throughout the greater New England area. In her free time, Beth loves to ride her bike around Boston and participates in local rugby and softball leagues.