Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man in Charge of Marathon Had Long Way to Go

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man in Charge of Marathon Had Long Way to Go

Article excerpt

The coffee cup stops halfway to the lips, and the eyes start to glaze over.

"My friends ask me, `How do you feel?' I tell them, `I don't know. I really can't describe how I feel. I've never felt like this before."'

It is an early March day, and Guy Morse - even while he is sitting here having lunch - feels all of the following: Worried. Elated. Scared. Exhausted. Numb. The man is carrying Boston around on his back. April 15 can't come and go fast enough. "I guess this is what happens when everything you do for an entire year comes down to just one day," says Morse, the man in charge of the Boston Marathon. More than a year ago, Morse thought it would be nice to do something special to celebrate the 100th running of the Marathon. Back then, he never envisioned how big this event would become and how many other events would spin off the milestone race. "We started by thinking we would let 20,000 run the race," Morse begins. But then he is distracted by the falling snow gliding past the windows of the restaurant. "Potholes," he says. Excuse me? "Potholes," he repeats. "Have them every year, but they'll be worse this year. This winter - will it ever get over?" Potholes are just one of the many fears Morse has as he heads down the stretch toward the start of the race in Hopkinton. "We say we are going to have 40,000, and that's about how many we will give numbers and credentials to, counting officials," he says. "In the beginning, we thought about 20,000. Then we realized another 20,000 would show up and then we would have chaos. Rather than have them wander in and not know where to go or what to do, we decided to make it officially a little better than 38,000 runners. But we've prepared for another 5,000-10,000 runners to show up and run at the back of the back without numbers." Put yourself in Morse's place. On Monday, you're in charge of moving 40,000 people from downtown Boston to Hopkinton and then collecting any stragglers along the 26-mile route and returning them to Boston. "We will start moving them out from the Boston Common early in the morning," he says. "Everyone has to be on a bus to get to the starting line. …

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