Dear Boston Marathon Runners

This. Is. It.

You did it! You made it to marathon-eve.

You all deserve a medal just for enduring the 18-weeks+ of training you have experienced. Some of you have trained through a mild winter or warm weather. Many, many others have trained through one of the hardest winters in U.S. history. You’ve endured rain, snow, sleet, blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and wind. You’ve trained with black toenails, sore muscles, and blisters. Needless to say, you rock.

I watched you all winter, forcing yourself out the door when your warm bed sounded a hell of a lot better than 10 degrees and snow. I watched you push each other up heartbreak hill again and again in training, knowing that sometimes all you need is a little encouragement from a fellow trainee.

You all have been my own inspiration this winter. If you can get out the door to run 15 miles in the snow with a smile on your face, I sure as hell can run half as far. Thank you.

It’s been two years since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The scars remain, but the terrifying memories are slowly being replaced with ones of love and peace. Last year was about remembering, and this year is all about celebrating. Celebrating the end of winter, celebrating the people and city of Boston, and celebrating you—the runner. You are the reason that one million people are projected to crowd the marathon route. You bring hope to a city that has struggled with keeping the faith in the last couple of years.

I know that tomorrow’s weather isn’t looking great. But after the winter we’ve had, this is nothing. Remember to start slow, go easy on the first half and save your legs for the Newton hills. Take a kiss at Wellesley. High-five a little kid. Smile when someone screams your name. Watch out for the train tracks at Cleveland Circle. Drink at all the water stations, and thank the volunteers. Soak in the energy on Boylston Street and say a silent prayer for Martin, Krystle, Lingzi Lu, and Sean. And when you cross that finish line, I hope that any pain you endured during the race or during training disappears.

Thank you for continuing to inspire my city. Patriot’s Day is a giant Boston-wide celebration, and you all are our guests of honor. We can’t wait to see you!

Boston skyline