I personally dislike joggers. I view them as a needless hazard to navigation when I'm driving. If one ends up missing, check my fenders for New Balance imprints. Allow me to get nowhere near the Boston Marathon, especially in a car.
I think it is a sign of arrogance and ignorance that Boston feels that traffic is light enough to close down roads and invite 20,000 joggers in for what really isn't that big of a spectator sport. Most of the people there aren't eating/drinking/shopping, so no one is making any real money off this...other than people in Hopkinton who allow you to park on their lawn for $40. I'm sure that whatever money Boston makes in food/drink/hotel is offset by the money lost in security/medical/lost productivity.
As a spectator sport, it sucks like Hoover. I'd rather watch two children race 50 yards than watch endless snippets of somebody jogging, even if they're jogging from MetroWest into Boston. At least the children's race would be over quickly. Imagine the clowns sitting out in the rain for this? "Look... someone else is jogging by!"
No drama, either. The winner of the race is usually alone by Heartbreak Hill. The chances that you'll see two runners sprinting neck and neck a half mile from the Prudential Building are pretty slim, about equal to the odds against seeing a German runner defecate on herself. I've seen one of each in my lifetime. If someone dies, they won't show it.
If smokers, fatties, junkies, blue-collars and the ill were better organized, there'd likely be some collective attempt to disrupt the Boston Marathon. While I'm not in love with the idea of using a Dirty Bomb on fellow Americans, there are some benefits to be had from wiping out a large segment of America's holier-than-thou fitness Nazis in one fell swoop..... viewing sanctimonious joggers in light of how people view rap stars as criminals, it would be not at all unlike releasing some Zyklon B into the hall hosting the Source Awards as a sort of decapitation strike against those who glorify street violence.
Still...I'm the sportswriter here, and I do have some professional obligation to examine the Boston Marathon as a sporting event. Here are some Insights from a woman who views running as something Nike made up to sell really cheap sneakers at really high prices.
- The chances that someone with a Swahili-sounding name like Ntambo Mkembe wins this race are pretty good. Ignore those who say that Kenyans run well because they're used to being chased by Lions, and instead try to imagine a bunch of kids running home to their village from a regional elementary school. Now, imagine those kids after 25 years.
- I'm really looking forward to seeing how African runners fare against the Nor'easter. Not a lot of winter storms hit Somalia, and few Nigerian runners have that Shelby Scott-style natural intuition about just being out in a Nor'Easter. If local runners were more of a factor in this race generally, this would be an ideal time to challenge the Kenyan superiority. Running the race from Boston to Hopkinton would produce record times, as opposed to sending these poor fools into the teeth of a howling gale... but I'll bet that no one even thought of that before I mentioned it.
- People in Duxbury still talk about Bill Rogers and Alberto Salazar going neck-and-neck down Duxbury Beach at the Gurnet Classic Beach Run in the 1970s. While I was a bit young when it happened and have no memory of it, I'm told that Rogers and Salazar finished in a sprint, and crossed the finish line together in a show of Fitness Nazi Solidarity.
- If leaving my children in the care of my husband while I did jail time wasn't such a painful option, I'd try to drive out to some obscure location on the race route and coat the road with cooking oil or floor wax. Then I'd set out a blanket and a picnic basket nearby, and just laugh all day.