“Lifelong Friends”

Reflections as a Runner by Bob Babbitt

by Bob Babbitt, Co-Founder Competitor Magazine, Iron Man Hall of Fame & Storyteller

Billy, Meb and Bob.

Billy, Meb and Bob.

On race day, I tend to reflect back to not only the preparation I put in to get there but I also reflect on the fact that, while we may call an event like the Boston Marathon a race, at the end of the day, race day is simply a catered workout. It is a day to be savored and celebrated and embraced.

We are all out here with 30,000 other like-minded individuals simply enjoying the day, the course, the amazing crowds cheering us on and the runners you’ll meet that day who will become lifelong friends.

This year at Boston I’m sure I’ll be reflecting back to my many race days dressed as Elvis with my buddy and Boston native Bill Hartford.

Billy and I met at Rock ’n Roll Las Vegas over a decade ago. We put out a note online to have people come run as Elvis with us on the strip. Boston Billy Elvis and I ran together with our Elvi buddies numerous times in Vegas, San Diego and in his hometown of Boston.

Billy was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and passed away suddenly this past fall. He picked me up at the airport in Boston last april and vowed he’d have his lycra, wig and dance moves ready to go for this year’s marathon.

On race day this year, Billy will be in my thoughts throughout the day. I just got some cool new gold Elvis glasses for Boston and I can’t wait for race day. We bonded forever by dressing funny and through this amazing sport that we all love so dearly. I miss you, Boston Billy Elvis. Thank you…thank you very much for being such a great friend!

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