By Jack McDermott


The children of Boston, do often hear
Of the midnight ride, of the great Paul Revere
Yet twenty-six miles, was easy of course
As that loyal son, was riding a horse!
But do you all know, a poor guy named Jack?
Who ran the marathon; and never went back

Two centuries later, in 2004
Destined to become, a race-day of lore
There were not many runners, that were left alive
That warm day in April, when it was 85
Crowded in Hopkinton, it was getting real loud
The sky was all blue, and missing a cloud

At the start of the race, well Jack got all surly
The elite women started, one half-hour early!
He sat and lingered, starting to roast
Listening to runners, of race times they boast
In bin number one, his hopes they did languish
He spoke to himself, [nobody spoke English]

And then with the solid, crack of a gun
The Old Boston Marathon, race had begun
The warming conditions, his mind didn’t heed
He burst into Natick, with marginal speed
Throwing an elbow, and smiling for show
His thoughts were still hopeful, his mind was aglow

And then into Framingham, he was passed in a flurry
The humidity rose, and he started to worry
With all of his training, it couldn’t be fate
He was hitting “the wall,” right now at mile eight!
The rugged young runner, was not very viral
“I wish I could see, a cute Wellesley girl.”

And so he ground on, hearing a splat
Each time he stepped down, on his racing flat
He passed cheering crowds, of village and farm
“Please drink some more fluids,” they raised the alarm
Our hero was flagging, spectators had fun
And the Yankees were winning, the score 4 to 1

But Jack’s running pace, became so deflated
He was trying to finish, and just stay hydrated
He spirits lift briefly, when he had the knowledge
He was slowly approaching, girls at the College
The Sirens lure him, a temptation to stop
A few co-eds sporting, bright bikini tops

At the half-way mark, adjusting his pace
He tried to slow down, he tried to save face
He remembered his send-off, and thought with distress
That friends were logged in, to check his progress
He cursed the technology, and made a short quip
“If I weren’t so dumb, I’d throw out my chip.”

He trudged into Newton, “Oh boy what a thrill”
“Now I can run, five miles of uphill”
As heartbreak wore on, the poor boy had doubt
It battered his spirit, and made the guy pout
The downhill caused pain, and Jack made a fuss
He just tried to hide, and be anonymous

Arriving in Fenway, the Band struck up “Taps”
His dad flew from Oregon, to watch Jack collapse
His mother waved gently, and turned to a neighbor
“He could only look worse, if he were in labor.”
“I need medical treatment,” Jack did opine
The moment he fell, on the finish line

He was tired and spent, and felt little glee
It was another 10 hours, before he could pee
Later he heard, the Red Sox had won
At least someone did well, that day in Boston