Boston Marathon: A day of real-life loss affects playing field wins

The finish line at the 117th Boston Marathon was filled with horror Monday instead of celebration. (Getty Images)
The finish line at the 117th Boston Marathon was filled with horror Monday instead of celebration. (Getty Images)

On a day annually regarded by many as the best sports day in the city of Boston, thoughts couldn’t have been further away from any sort of track or field of competition at day’s end.

The two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon halted the typically ceaseless Boston sports universe. The Marathon, the premier road race in the world, was suspended indefinitely. The Bruins postponed their scheduled Monday night game at TD Garden against the Senators. The Celtics and the NBA took the rare step of canceling a game altogether that was set for Tuesday night at the Garden.

As is often the case with tragedies of this sort, the day began with a great deal of joy.

Marblehead, Mass. native Shalane Flanagan was in the mix with the front-runners of the women’s Marathon field and put up a strong effort as the hometown favorite, placing fourth. Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo dashed to the win, overtaking Ana Dulce Felix, late in the race. It was Jeptoo’s second win at Boston as she had also taken the crown in 2006.

American Jason Hartmann also nabbed a fourth place finish but Lelisa Desisa Benti proved too strong in the men’s field.

Baseballreference.com will forever show that the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2. It was a walk-off win that thrilled a sell-out crowd at Fenway Park.

High-level athletic competition was still taking place in the city as of 2:49 p.m..

There were then a reported 4,500 runners that did not finish the race due to the suspension of the Marathon after the explosions. For about 40 seconds after the explosions, many confused runners continued to cross a line that typically leads to an area of unbridled joy.

Not on Monday. Not on a Patriots Day that will be remembered more for tragic, real-life losses than triumphant, playing field wins.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS


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