(Sorry about missing Monday, folks...I tried to publish an old post but it gave itself the date on which I wrote it and is now buried in the older posts)
Early morning and the cops are clearing the street of debris; the fence guys have come along and slowly built a wall a few feet back from the curb; they've butted up the feet of the sections and zip-tied them together; soon there's a channel 30 meters wide and the street has that abandoned feeling usually reserved for very late at night.
Sadly, no race rolled past my door this morning (my front door is that grey archway 2/3 down the block), although I have to confess I felt that tingle one feels walking past the finish line on race morning, the tingle that says maybe, maybe...
I've raised my arms at the finish only a few times in my career, and never at a race bigger than something local, but when you see Phillipe Gilbert do it on the cobbles of the Cauberg, or Crowie do it (with a sharp flex added for good measure) under the palms at Kona, something in your chest wants to raise those arms, too.
We've all done it, I'm guessing, when we knew no one lurked nearby to see us. Pretending to win goes back to our first solo experiences with games, when we hit towering home runs into phantom Fenway lights, or sank countless Bird-esque jumpers that almost touched the rafters of the old Garden. Now we crest a hill after a long climb along and raise our arms just to see what it feels like, and the old magic still flows.
For me, seeing a crew set up barriers along a set of curbs sets those dreams of magic alight. You see yourself, alone after a long breakaway, or running down Boylston street by yourself (Oh those beautiful foreshortened shots of Boylston Street, where the second place runners seem so close, where their dreams of coming back seem plausible for only a second!), or realizing that your pursuers won't make up the distance you've put into them over 140.6 miles.
You enter the barriers at the finishing chute.
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