8 runners take on the 2014 Boston Marathon

Eight Runners, A Dinner And A Story Comes Full Circle


Our story came full circle Sunday night. 

After two-and-a-half months of blogging out their journey to Boylston, every one of the “NPR 8” came together for a final dinner on the eve of marathon Monday. For the first time since we started this project, all eight runners (and their editors) met face-to-face. 

We gathered in Boston’s North End, a neighborhood  known for its narrow, cobbled streets and its Italian restaurants. As you might imagine, the streets were crawling with runners looking for some carbs to fuel their bodies on their 26.2-mile run. 

The talk at the table was about life, about running and about Boston. It seemed like a microcosm of the city. There was anticipation for the task at a hand, a course filled with hills that will test months of preparation. There was obsession over the weather: It’ll be chilly at the start but luckily it seems a long, harsh winter is behind us. And of course, there was a bit of nervousness — about the race itself and about the long shadow cast by the two explosions near the finish line last year. 

But, really, like in the city itself, the overwhelming feeling at the dinner table was excitement. This is, after all, a sporting event. The city stops for it. And even nature, with its daffodils and tulips and glorious, yellow willows, seems to celebrate it. 

Monday morning on Patriot’s Day our eight runners will board yellow school buses in Boston; they’ll travel out to Hopkinton to begin a 26.2 mile journey that’ll test their bodies and test their spirit.

Months of training will boil down to a few hours on the roads of New England, culminating in a fleeting moment of exultation on Boylston Street.

— Eyder Peralta 

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