When: April 17, 2011
Box Score: Blue Jays – Red Sox April 17
Who: Amanda, Mac and Me
Why: We headed out to Boston as I prepared to run the 2011 Boston Marathon. It was my third time running, but the first time Mac was able to travel with us to the race. We had a big Patriots Day Weekend planned. Some sight seeing, dinner with friends on Saturday night, Race Day and a Red Sox game.
This was building to be an emotional trip. First, the excitement of seeing Fenway Park was a quite exciting. Second, the reason I run Boston is raise funds and awareness for Hydrocephalus research as part of Tedy’s Team. Led by a friend from Tucson, this group gives me the chance to help my son and run a lot. I had run many times in Mac’s name, but this would be the first time he would be at one of these races.
Thanks to our awesome friends Anne Marie and Margaret, we were able to obtain great seats right behind First Base. Also through the kindness of our friends, they arranged a private tour of Fenway before the Sunday afternoon game. We met our tour guide, Sarah Applewhite, in the VIP area of Fenway. To say that Sarah was kind and informative, would be an understatement. Her and Mac hit it off immediately. Sarah took us out to the field where the visiting Blue Jays were taking batting practice. Mac ended up with a ball given to him by Jose Bautista. Not bad. Seeing these ball players up close was amazing.
Next up on the tour was a 37 ft high trip to the top of the Green Monster. Not only is the Green Monster a sports icon, but the Left Field Foul Pole was the center of one the most memorable moments in MLB history. 1975. Game 6. Fisk Pole.
While on top of the Monster, we got another ball. This time, while Sarah was taking our picture, a ball caromed off the Sports Authority sign on to her head. Luckily, she was okay (following a trip to the hospital for X-Rays). Sarah made the difference for us in our time at Fenway. Truly a great Red Sox team member.
The final stop on our tour was the Red Sox Hall of Fame. The names are breath taking from Cy Young to Ted Williams to Carl Yaztremski to Pedro Martinez.
Finally, it was game time. Thanks to Anne Marie and Margaret we sat near First Base with a view of the Green Monster.
Yes, the Sox won this day. Francona managed. Lester won. Ellsbury went deep. We sang Sweet Caroline in the 8th inning. Ate Fenway Franks. Strolled down Yawkey Way. Then took the T home. Quite a day.
Awesome Souvenir Alert:
Mac picked up this sweet Carlton Fisk McFarlane figurine in the Team Store. It is still displayed in his room, but now it is joined by Game 6 Fisk.
One note regarding the purchase of figurines on a trip: Do not open the box until you are home. Carrying the diving Fisk with suspended-in-the-air ball all the way back home on an airplane was a challenge. Actually, challenge is an understatement. It was miserable. Try not losing that little ball hanging from a precariously balanced Fisk. Never again. Our most recent trip included the purchase of four McFarlanes and they stayed in their packaging until we were home. So much easier.
Here is why Game 6 mattered:
Post Script: The Race
After a day at the ballpark, the next morning brought the Boston Marathon. I was up early to catch a bus from the Boston Common to the start of the race in Hopkington. There I would meet up with Tedy, Margaret and other friends at a home near the start.
The plan was for Mac and Amanda to take the train out to Newton to see me around Mile 17. Then they would jump back on the train to make it back to Boston for the finish.
They made it and it was great to see them right before I began the Newton Hills and the (in)famous Heartbreak Hill. Towards the end of the race you wind through Boston before turning right on to a small side street called Herford that dead ends at the Boston Convention Center. At the end of Herford, you turn left on to Boylston for the final .2 miles of the race. Once you make that turn it is like you hit a sound tunnel – thousands of people lining the streets and screaming at the top of their lungs.
As I made the turn, I looked up to see Mac and Amanda right there along the railing. They had made it! So I ran over, picked up Mac and lifted him over the railing. Together, we began running the final portion of the race together. Part way down Boylston, Mac said he needed to stop in order to stretch. So right in the middle of the road, the kid begins to do lunges and toe touches. Once fully loosened up, Mac got right back to it and we finished together.
It was pretty overwhelming for me to watch the race volunteers place the medal on Mac at the Finish Line. He had truly earned that medal for everything he has overcome in his life. Once across the finish, we met up with Amanda and our friends near by at the Lenox Hotel.
A great day for a run!