ODE TO THE BOSTON CHAMPION

Meb Boston 2014

*

Through clamorous towns at a headlong pace,

You raced this day into Copley Place,

Where with arm thrust high,

And church bells pealing,

You bear a wreath of glory,

Though head still reeling.

*

The distance you ushered,

The pain you endured,

Your flag now flutters,

Must all seem a blur.

*

But honor’s all yours,

This Patriot’s Day,

In this oldest of marathons,

As men shout, “Hooray!”

*

And though crusted with salt,

Legs seized with fatigue,

The scene’s one to savor,

As you recall the intrigue.

 *

From Hopkinton to Ashland,

With Framingham just ahead,

Ever downward the course rolled,

“Run faster,” it said.

 *

But with purpose you held steady,

As Natick bid adieu,

Knowing the coeds at Wellesley,

Were awaiting in queue.

*

Forming a Tunnel of Screams,

Stirring spirit and stride,

A din like no other,

At times hard to abide,

*

Yet onward you raced,

As the pack fell behind,

dismissing your chances,

Letting the miles unwind.

 *

Each falling in its order,

As one to the next,

Your lead ever growing,

With each town annexed.

 *

’till finally up Heartbreak,

Newton’s hill of renown,

Where victory and  agony,

Had so often been found.

 *

Your advantage neared a minute,

lending credence to your goal,

When sooner than expected,

You could hear the bells toll,

 *

Ringing out from St. Ignatius,

At old Boston College,

The Haunted Mile just ahead,

Where there were ghosts to acknowledge.

*

Who’d seen flyers before,

Come dashing their way,

Down Comm Ave. onto Beacon,

That raging sluiceway.

 *

Where with four miles remaining,

The dream close at your shoulder,

The pace ever faster,

Tho’ opponents growing bolder.

 *

Through Coolidge Corner in Brookline,

The course like a hammer,

Quads screaming for mercy,

Hard to hear above the clamor.

 *

Then Kenmore Square arrived,

Where Sox fans had gathered,

From Fenway they’d spilled,

With their hot dogs still slathered,

 *

Like generations of kin,

Who’d paid witness before,

These people of Boston,

Came forth to implore,

 *

You hollow-cheeked warriors,

From first to the last,

Who’d taken up this challenge,

Of these miles amassed,

 *

Twenty-five now behind,

With one yet remaining,

The matter unsettled,

The challengers now gaining!

 *

‘till down past the Eliot,

‘Fore the right onto Hereford,

You chanced a look back,

And in that moment your heart stirred.

*

Knees lifting, arms churning,

You struck with a vengeance,

No guile in intention,

Nor pity or its semblance,

 *

Only blessed from on high,

As you drove the pace deeper,

the challenger cracked fully,

Leaving you the lone leader!

 *

Amidst the urgency and tumult,

With history so near,

You held close your emotions,

The moment so dear,

*

But in the grip of high drama,

As you surged for the win,

Your face finally split,

As if lit from within.

*

Down Boylston you soloed,

Heart pumping in hand,

Flags waving, cheers rising,

From marathoning’s best fans.

 *

‘till final stride of your making,

You breasted the finish,

The win of a lifetime,

That none can diminish.

 *

This dream, once Quixotic,

That took years in the making,

Holds value beyond measure,

All yours for the taking.

 *

Now you stand `top the podium,

Anthem ringing in your ears,

Heart swelling with pride,

As you revel in the cheers,

*

Knowing truly it is so,

that for a year you will reign,

Gold medal champion,

Every marathoner’s dream.

 *

Joining Demar and the Kellys,

Boston Billy and Joanie,

Your name among legends,

Ringing out in a euphony.

 *

Until new will come `round,

Next Patriot’s Day,

When the old course will wait,

And challengers lay.

 *

Full of wiles and high purpose,

Ready to take on the distance,

With you as their target,

And what you offer in resistance.

 *

The same as it’s been,

For a century and more,

The glory of The Marathon,

the legend, its lore.

*

Welcoming men of good faith,

In their quest to make history,

Their sites on that vision, but how it’s done?

Ah, there’s the mystery.

*

But this one’s all yours,

True Man of the hour,

A red, white and blue hero,

America’s running super power.

*

2014 Boston Marathon Meb winsEND

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9 comments on “ODE TO THE BOSTON CHAMPION

  1. Toni, Thank you and Kathrine for your fine commentary. Meb and Shalane are outstanding. Meb amazes me just like Joan does. An incredible Boston Marathon.

  2. Steve Pero says:

    Excellent!

  3. Claudia Piepenburg says:

    Lovely, Toni. Meb is an amazing athlete, who’s a role model and who’s story is one that should be glorified, what a wonderful American success story he is. Too bad that Jimmy Fallon, who I like a great deal because he seems like such a warm, “heh, I could be friends with this guy” sort of person, saw fit to make fun of Meb’s name throughout a great part of his monologue last night. One has to wonder if Ryan Hall had won, if Fallon would have used him as fodder for his jokes. Hate to be cynical, but jeez, what the hell is wrong with us?

  4. Claudia Piepenburg says:

    Meant to write “whose” story, not “who’s”…sorry

  5. Andrew says:

    Great stuff again, Toni. Like last year’s Boston Marathon reflection, it moved me to tears. Unlike last year, this time was out of joy.

  6. Betsy Crupi says:

    Beautiful!

  7. […] Truly Inspiring – Ode To The Boston Champion (Toni Reavis) […]

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