5 Stages of Marathon Grief – Marathon Tips for Runners

I’ve always said that running, like life, almost never goes according to plan.

I think that’s why in most people’s running experience, they can so clearly remember the times that everything lined up – the training, the weather, the course, their biorhythms… I could go on. This week, it seemed that nothing lined up. After much speculation, the reality we woke up to this morning is that Boston will not be happening on April 20. 

Like so many others, I have been training through the winter, marveling at the fantastic luck we have had in that our weather this year was incredibly mild. But I actually started my journey in the summer of 2018 when I decided to enter the CIM 2018 in order to qualify for the 2020 race. Most of my fellow runners have been on the road to Boston for at least that long, if not longer, due to the necessity of running a qualifying race well in advance of the race registration window in September 2019. And many people have worked for years to reach that qualifying standard, even as the standards themselves have been progressively tightened. 

Additionally, those who have been tirelessly raising funds for charities and causes that are so meaningful to them and important to our community as a whole, have the added disappointment of feeling that they may let down those who supported them through their training. So all in all, it’s a pretty big blow for a lot of people. 

In fact, I think it deserves its own “Stages of Grief” to help process the feelings and be able to move on. 

Stage 1: Denial – The Boston marathon has never been cancelled before! This is just not possible!

Stage 2: Anger – How dare they cancel MY race when I’VE worked my butt off to get here!

Stage 3: Bargaining – Maybe just allow us, locals, to run? If we stay 6 feet apart from each other at all times? 

Stage 4: Depression – What’s the point of continuing my training plan.. The only thing getting me out the door for long runs was the anticipation of race day. 

Stage 5: Acceptance – Postponed rather than cancelled (this is huge, not just for us but for all those already qualified for 2021)! More time to train! Thank you BAA for keeping us safe!

The Boston Marathon doesn’t just belong to Boston anymore – it belongs to the whole world, and we look forward to seeing all of you for the biggest party ever on September 14, 2020!!