Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Billy

Today Bill Rodgers ran his first Boston Marathon since 1999. He has run 17 Boston Marathons, and many others. He's 61 years old now, and wanted to run for his 60th birthday, but was thwarted by prostate cancer treatment. He's doing well now.

During the years of 1979- 1981, Bill Rodgers was my hero. It was during these years that I was also a runner myself in high school. I was on the cross-country, indoor, and outdoor Somerville High School Girls Track and Field teams.

Bill Rodgers was a local guy and the winner of four Boston Marathons (and 4 NYC wins) during the years I was running. It was also during these years that I went to see my first Boston Marathon, with the encouragement of our coach. The dream of running the Marathon has always been implanted in my mind since.

I went to view the marathon today, but I didn't see Bill Rodgers. Later I heard on the news that he finished and did well. (just over 4 hours) My hero was somewhat deflated when I asked a marathon official: "Do you know when Bill Rodgers will be coming through?" His curt response was: "Oh, we don't track him like that."

In 1980, I played hooky from school on a rainy Monday and made my way to the Harvard Coop bookstore in Harvard Sq. Bill Rodgers was there signing his new book, "Marathoning." I was so excited that I stood in a long line and bought the book and had him sign it. (the book cost 8.90, which I remember thinking was a hefty price...) He wrote, "Carolyn. Good Luck." Gotta still run that marathon.......

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