10 a.m. on a Saturday is apparently when all the runners are training. As I discovered, coming around the corner of Beacon Street at the Cleveland Circle end. Runners going with and against me, as I tried to navigate the already crowded commercial street.
I was following one group of runners–some of whom were wearing the same shirts; all of whom seemed to know each other–when another group started to run past, outside of the Eagles Deli. As the two groups neared each other, there were cheers. Then hands shot up to snag hi-fives. Never one to be left out from a good time, I stuck mine out as well. This prompted some odd looks, but some (possibly reluctant) hi-fives.
What was odd, to me, was the short speed boost that came with it. I was suddenly keeping pace with these more seasoned (I am guessing) runners–for a block or two–and feeling less tired. Some weird sort of crowd-photosynthesis was taking over, and propelling me through the blocks.
(The Eagles Deli, home of a challenge burger of the same name, is famous in my mind for the attempt a friend and former manager made to complete that dish. Each time the meal is defeated, the restaurant adds a half-pound each of meat and fries to the edible obstacle. By the time he tried it, I believe it was 5 pounds of meat, 16 slices of cheese and bacon, served on a bun (with three skewers holding the thing together) served with 5 lbs of french fries.
What they neglected to tell him, as he started methodically going patty-by-patty through his dinner, was that there is a time limit–they charge you $50 if you don’t make it. He was informed about 1/3 into the repast, that he had about 20 minutes remaining. He ate burgers for the rest of the week.)
It wasn’t until I hit my T stop when I encountered the runner training turnaround point. Three women stood off to the side with a sign bearing the logo for the “Marathon Coalition.” A symbol some of the runners had on their shirts. The Boston Marathon is coming up again–and the city is preparing for it, and for the anniversary of a terror attack. It is expected to carry a record number of runners–and sales dollars–into the city.
This revelation also explained the confused look, as I usurped encouragement from a group of strangers. With a smirk, as the runners I was behind turned on their heels back at me, I kept going through toward my 20-minute running route.
Cut my run a little short, a few minutes after the run. Just ran out of steam, and was eager to get home so I had a few minutes before work to go home, take a shower, and see a visitor I was eager to spend time with.
Shirt of the Day: The Apathy Coalition (Join us. Or don’t. Whatever.)
Current Fundraiser: Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 2014 Walk for Change.