Here in Massachusetts, the 3rd Monday of April is Patriot’s Day/Marathon Monday. It’s a state holiday that commemorates the first battle of the American revolution and the biggest marathon in the world. Since we’re leaving in August I wanted to make sure I experienced both local celebrations to the fullest.
First we’ll go to the Lexington Battle Green. British troops heard that revolutionaries were hiding weapons in Concord, so they went to put an end to the mischief (sorry if this is too basic, but we’re writing for an international audience here). A fellow with a fast horse named Paul Revere (the fellow, not the horse… they didn’t mention his horse’s name, although he/she was also very brave) took off warning the rebels almost all the way to Concord before getting arrested.
Lexington was on the way and the rebels waited for the British there, where a standoff that killed several revolutionaries happened at 6am. Every year they reenact it. They do a pretty impressive performance and this Canadian learned some interesting things. I take Paul Revere’s route on my bike to work, so it’s pretty cool to get an idea of what happened on his way and at that first battle. Pretty much everybody was involved behind the British’s backs. They had a very well networked group of revolutionaries.
The next famous battle reenacted on that Monday is a 26.2 mile foot race (I did see at least one barefoot runner). The Boston Marathon is also pretty old. I did some work from the Boston College library, right at the top of “heartbreak hill” and went out to watch at lunchtime. It was really inspiring to be there with thousands of locals cheering and thousands of athletes pushing up the hill at mile 20-something. I remember how much power I drew from cheering crowds during the St. George Marathon. Who knows… Maybe I’ll be back for Boston one day.