If you were to ask a Boston College student what the best day of the year is, they would immediately say “Marathon Monday.” What is Marathon Monday, you may ask? Marathon Monday is the day of the Boston Marathon and a day when the city of Boston comes together to celebrate community. Officially called Patriot’s Day, Marathon Monday is a holiday exclusive to Boston, something that people who do not know Boston and have not experienced it do not understand. I was initially confused after hearing upperclassmen talk about the marathon. What was all this fuss about a marathon? To me, the thought of running an actual marathon seems daunting and nearly impossible. A whole day dedicated purely to physical exercise? What? What I did not realize, however, was the overwhelming sense of camaraderie that the Boston Marathon brings to BC’s campus. Not only are all academic classes cancelled the day of the event, BC students get a prime marathon-viewing spot as the campus is situated at the top of Heartbreak Hill, the 21st mile of the marathon.
My friends and I spent the night before our first Marathon Monday unsure of what to expect. We were curious after hearing so many upperclassmen tell us to “Get excited! It’s the best day of the year!” The morning of the marathon, my alarm blared sharply at 6:30 and I woke with a start. My friends knocked loudly on my door, telling me that I needed to get dressed. Half-awake, I rolled out of bed and headed out the entrance to my dorm, ready to experience what everyone had talked so highly about. Adrenaline pumping and heart racing, I couldn’t wait. As I walked to Heartbreak Hill, I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer mass of students in the streets. Games of kan jam and cornhole littered the lawn, and packs of students stood on the sidewalk laughing, ready to cheer on the runners as they passed by. It seemed as if every student was in the same place at the same time, and I ran into many kids from my classes. Everyone knows someone who is running the marathon—for me, it was my RA, who didn’t train but just decided that she wanted to “go for it.”
Marathon Monday is more than just a marathon; it unites the city of Boston. Nothing compares to the sense of pride you feel watching friends become marathoners and run to the top of Heartbreak Hill, or the joy that floods you when randomly running into people you know on the street. Marathon Monday is not something that everyone gets to experience, but I am so glad that I did, and cannot wait for next year!