Amidst the blizzard, the Boston Marathon finish line stands out thanks to a man and his shovel.
Boston is being buried in snow this week, but it didn’t stop one man from taking good care of the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.
Philip Hillman snapped a photo of a man shoveling off the famous yellow finish line on Tuesday and shared it on Twitter. By Wednesday morning, the photo had gone viral, popping up all over social media and in news outlets around the world.
Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk released a statement Wednesday, saying: “We saw profound acts of courage and kindness following the bombings which occurred in the City of Boston in April 2013 near the Boston Marathon finish line. Since that time, we have continually witnessed an outpouring of support for this great event and the City, demonstrating just how unique and special this race really is and all for which it stands. For someone to brave the winter blizzard to clear our finish line for us is yet another statement as to what our event means not only to runners but also to Americans. We, at the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), are the organizers and are responsible for the management of the Boston Marathon, but an act like we see depicted here proves that – in Boston – everyone owns the Marathon.”
Some areas in eastern Massachusetts received more than 2 feet of snow, according to the Boston Globe—and more could be on the way.
The identity of the shoveler was a mystery at first, and sparked the Twitter hashtag #whoshoveledthefinishline. CBS Boston identified the man as Chris Laudani, an employee at the Back Bay Social Club on Boylston Street. ESPN interviewed Laudani, who says he’s not a hero but just a huge fan of the marathon. Laudani ran the Boston Marathon in 5:41:15 in 2011.
The 2015 Boston Marathon will be held on April 20.