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Boston Marathon - Run for Mak

Shilpa Joshi | Published on 5/5/2024

I’m forever indebted to the Merrimack Valley Striders committee for granting me the priceless opportunity of running this privileged world major: The 2024 Boston Marathon!!

This race was special to me for many reasons. One, this was my tribute of love and grief in the memory of beloved husband, Makarand who suddenly left this world last year. There is so much he wanted to do in life, professionally, socially, and in his running career. One of his wishes was to be able to run the Boston Marathon again, sometime in the future, a future he never saw.

But, I think, Makarand did get his wish to run the Boston marathon again, just this time from within my heart, on my feet, with the crowds yelling his name off my bib. I missed him terribly, dearly, painfully. Doing this in his love and memory, amidst the sounds of “Go Mak”, “You got this, Mak”, “You can do this, Mak” kept me going, mile after mile after mile.
 Hearing his name as I ran, was the best part of the race for me – it made me feel like he was indeed running with me in spirit, and in my heart! I occasionally looked up at the blue skies to smile up at him!

He also wanted me to run a marathon someday. I am at peace that I was able grant him his wish. In return, he sent me my kinda running weather and a tail-wind - which reminded me of him pushing me with his hands from the back with a gentle push to propel me forward when I would be tired during our runs. The tail-wind further made me feel the connection to him as I ran the course!

Makarand said “It’s not the marathon itself, but the journey to it that makes it special”. This remains true to its word. I made so many special bonds this winter during my training with my MVS training friends (although it was very, very cold, and windy, especially for me during some training runs!). I also made some new friends in other running communities, and at Tracksmith. All these experiences and bonds will stay with me for a lifetime.

I absolutely enjoyed the race day excitement, the challenge of this course, the energy from the crowds, the rush of adrenaline, seeing my MVS friends at the start line, MVS and non-MVS friends and family at various other points on the course, the icing on the cake – seeing Lyn, Tom, Ann and many other MVS friends at the finish line, and the pampering and cheer at the MVS celebration party that night!!

Thank you to my dear MVS family for all your motivation, love, and support! Thank you for being there.

The part about the training and the race I absolutely don’t miss – the gels, and the IV, and the Gatorade!! Nah, I will stay away from those for a while – until the next training season begins!

Also, hopefully this will not be my last marathon!



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