Somerville with Townie Tim: Marathon Monday

Spring is finally happening. The weather is getting warmer, restaurants are starting to put tables outside and that one guy with the Bon Jovi covers has resumed his residency in Davis Square. You’ve probably also noticed that this is that time of year when people decide to start running. Maybe these are folks that have been on the treadmill all winter and are finally out on the town, but I’m pretty sure about half of the residents of Somerville restarted their New Year’s resolutions this weekend.

This is a time to celebrate because your boy Townie Tim is a runner and having a few more folks on the sidewalks means Boston is amidst its transformation from a frozen tundra to an absolute running mecca. Spring means that you can run without snot icicles forming on your nose or your tears freezing your eyes shut. Spring also means that the running world returns to its spiritual home to celebrate the Boston Marathon. From the Somerville Community Path, to the Esplanade, to all the Red Line T stops with ads for running shoes, this is truly the time of the year for runners.

The Boston Marathon is happening this Monday and the entire working and student populations of Boston have the day off. For all Tufts students, mile nine is the place to be. The Tufts Marathon Team (TMT), led by the legendary coach Don Megerle, will be out in force to cheer on the 50 marathoners that Tufts sponsors every year. If you do not know about the TMT, well, you clearly have surrounded yourself with very reasonable people who do not wake up at the crack of dawn three times a week to run long distances over snow and slush. You probably also do not know that the Tufts team is the largest that any school sends to the Boston Marathon.

At this point, it would be a disservice not to go on at length about Coach Don and all the work he does to make the TMT one of the best organizations on campus. From his consistent positive attitude, his mentorship of hundreds of marathon finishers and the daily emails of inspiration to the team, he really is the best. One of my favorite anecdotes about Don comes from Andrew Stout, a member of the TMT and a runner in this year’s Boston Marathon.

The sun was just rising over the partially frozen Mystic Lakes and we were approaching the turnaround point for our typical Wednesday run. It was a frigid morning, but Don was there as usual next to his car in shorts, with cups of water and ’60s surfer music playing on the radio. After we thanked him and turned back, Andrew remarked, “I don’t know what heaven will be like, but I’m pretty sure it will involve Don next to his car, with water and music at the ready.”

We’ll see you at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and be sure to cheer like crazy for the folks in the yellow jerseys from the Tufts Marathon Team.