For the first time in three years, the 126th annual Boston Marathon was held on Patriot’s Day, returning to its traditional date after COVID-19 delays. Last year, the Boston Marathon was moved from its traditional date in April to October, postponed in hopes of safer public health conditions. The Boston Marathon has significance for students as a Wellesley tradition, who make signs and cheer on runners in the Scream Tunnel as they move past the halfway point of the marathon.
“I just turned 21, so my plans are to get absolutely hype for MarMon. I can see the runners from my window, so I’ll go outside and cheer on the runners with some friend,” Lynn Griffith ’23 said. “I’m a junior, and … I’m very excited for my first Spring MarMon.”
While Griffith’s plans are similar to many students, Izzy Galm ’24 is deviating from the typical MarMon activities this year and volunteering at the Boston Marathon. When asked why she wanted to volunteer, Galm replied, “I always thought it would be fun. It’s something different to try. I had to apply, and I thought they wouldn’t take me. I didn’t really think through the logistics — I just wanted the jacket.”
“I have to be at Hopkinton at 5 a.m. at the start line, and I’m going to be there until 12:30 p.m. I imagine it’s going to be a lot of checking people in. They gave a map of the area in which people are allowed to park and check in places,” Galm said, describing her duties as a volunteer.
While students enjoyed watching the Boston Marathon, the Schneider Board of Governors (SBOG) ran a photobooth, gave students airbrush tattoos and handed out water and snacks.
Imogene Johnson ’22, the Director of On-Campus Affairs, told The News, “MarMon is great because it’s going to be fun no matter what. The Boston Marathon is such a fun tradition and predates SBOG being an org. In planning for this event, we thought about what will enhance this year’s marathon, what will be fun for students, what will students want to do while celebrating the runners.”
Johnson noted that SBOG had an easier time planning for this Marathon upon receiving positive feedback from students last semester.
“We saw that people really enjoyed what we did in the fall,” she said. “In past years, the programming was sometimes different, but we learned that people want to hangout by the race lines and engage in quick and fun activities rather than activities that expend a lot of energy.”
While the marathon is an exciting tradition for students to participate in, the Office of Student Wellness hopes to promote health and safety during MarMon.
“Historically, MarMon is a day of celebration, which may include substances,” Allison Weinberg, the Director of the Office of Student Wellness, explained. “If folks choose to use, they should have the skills and strategies for harm reduction. The Office of Student Wellness will provide support on social media and at a table the day of.”
SBOG members also worked on harm reduction measures in conjunction with the Office of Student Wellness in preparation for the event.
“Last Monday, SBOG went through an alcohol intervention training with the Office of Student Wellness, which I recommend to any and all orgs, [learning] what to look for and what to do both in terms of alcohol safety in general and what to do at Wellesley,” Johnson said.
The Office of Student Wellness took several preventative measures to prepare students for the marathon.
“We’re doing a Social Media Campaign where we feature a different MarMon tip everyday that is tied to wellness in some way,” Weinberg said. “We also did a substance harm reduction workshop. In general, we know that the Spring semester is a time of stress and celebration. For some folks, substances may be part of either of those. They should be prepared so they can make whatever decision, and if using, they should be aware of what the impact is on the community around us as well.”
On the day of the marathon, Weinberg detailed, “There will be two wellness tables with general wellness items, such as granola bars to make sure folks are eating enough, sunscreen, stress balls, bubbles and chalk. We’ll also be giving out small bags with Band-Aids and Purell wipes.”
While students are encouraged to be cautious regarding substance use, Weinberg emphasized the preparedness in drug and alcohol response on campus.
“There is a coordinated, collaborative approach between the Office of Student Wellness, the Office of Student Involvement, AVI, and ResLife,” she said. “ResLife staff will be walking through campus in case people need help as well. In the tent in the Davis parking garage, there will be campus safety officers, so if somebody needs an EMT evaluation, that’s also a resource that day. We want to empower the whole community to intervene if they see somebody in need.”