But anyone who's been a regular reader of this blog over the years knows that it all begins with a pilgrimage to the expo that packs them in by the thousands at the Hynes Convention Center. You know, some years, I truly think Andrew has more fun at the Expo than he does at the actual marathon itself. He certainly eats more there.
Before we could spend a small fortune on memorabilia at the expo, though, there was a pit stop on Boylston Street to pay tribute to the four victims whose lives were lost when a pair of cowardly terrorists attacked the finish line two years ago.
It was nice to see the acknowledgement at the site of where the first bomb exploded. Never forget them.
A new addition this year were the hundreds of daffodils scattered around storefronts on Boylston Street and Newbury Street, sporting the blue and gold colors that have come to embody the spirit of the 2013 Marathon.
At the Expo, after producing the necessary paperwork to confirm he was the crazy fool who had committed to running the 26. miles, Andrew was handed his badge of honor.
Because anyone who's ever run even one step of the course knows, there's only One Boston.
Oh yeah, and there's only one of these, too
Andrew and I got there early on Friday so we were able to stake a claim to primo real estate on the autograph banner. So natch, we left our mark for the 2015 edition. By the time I returned on Sunday, there were thousands upon thousands of other sigs surrounding ours. But there was only one E Streeters.
And then it happened! Andrew connected with his lifelong bud and first-time Bostoner, Nicole Hatem, who was doing her doggonest to support the Boston running economy. Nicole gets props for logging her first marathon after taking on most of her longest runs on some of the coldest days of the 2015 season!
Yup, Andrew was ready to meet the challenge.
Tell us: what's been YOUR Greatest Run Ever?
Anyone who's trekked the final mile of Boston knows these two street signs intimately. Say it with me: Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston. And then straight on to victory.
Mugging it up for a Runner's World Magazine Cover
Wheedling our way through the aisles, we came upon Dick Hoyt - an icon known far and wide across the nation for his inspirational achievements, pushing his son Rick in his wheelchair. Dick stepped back this year to let another member of Team Hoyt pick up the mantel and run Boston (no, not John Piekos) but it was still an honor to shake hands and thank Dick for all of the lives he's touched with a father's love over these past two decades.
Scoring a pair of lobster socks (don't ask), Andrew took to the Brooks treadmill, hoping he'd look this good come Mile 17 on the real course. (He did).
But no matter what, he'd never look as good as THIS guy - a critical member of our Marathon team and clearly, the best dressed runner on the fabled streets. Take a bow, Elias!
Yeah, there's only one E Street. Shuffle on over there.
And finally, a sign of the times to come, perhaps? Hamming it up in the Boston 2024 Olympics pavilion to throw our support behind Boston's bid to bring the world showcase to Beantown come 2024. I doubt I'll be a medal contender at that point, but Andrew? Don't count him out!
That's a wrap on Expo Day One! We're not done yet......