boston strong

FB_marathonDickson Mercer, SOC/MA ’12, who is featured in the current issue’s “This I Know,” yesterday completed his second Boston Marathon. He finished in an impressive 2 hours, 38 minutes, 37 seconds—good for 254th place.

Here are his observations from a remarkable day in Boston.

“This year was really all about ‘Boston Strong,’ about reclaiming an amazing tradition and celebration of running and the human spirit. And I would say, from the very beginning—individual race goals aside—there was definitely a very palpable we’re-all-in-this-together feeling. Everyone involved—runners, spectators, race support, law enforcement, first responders—wanted this to be a success, and it was. It was amazing, and I was honored to be a part of it.

“I was really focused on my own race, keeping my eyes ahead and soaking up the energy from all the people lining the streets cheering for us. One of the few times I did look over was around the halfway point where there were all these kids jumping on mini-trampolines just having the best time. There was music blasting; it was just this awesome street party atmosphere.

“Around 16, though, things got pretty tough for me; I went from being on pace for a personal best to really just having to gut it out and get across the finish line. I developed a really bad blister early on that just got worse and worse, and I started to feel the effects of dehydration. Most of my friends and family were in the 20s, and it was hearing my name every mile or two that got me through it and across the finish line. Then, to be walking through the finishers chute to the family meet-up area and to hear that Meb Keflezighi, one of my heroes, had won the race, becoming the first American to win since 1983—that was actually when it really sunk in: what an amazing reclamation of the Boston Marathon I had just taken part in.”

Congratulations, Dickson, on an incredible accomplishment.