Everyone was cursing, most loudly Arnie, the mild-mannered sweetheart, who proclaimed he was going to Kill That Jock Semple Who Should Know Better Being a Runner Himself! Tom really looked as if steam was coming out of his ears; he was still in full bombastic mode, and each curse of his was accompanied by another jab or a challenging look over his shoulder. John looked bewildered. I felt puke-ish, afraid that we’d seriously hurt this guy Jock Semple, and maybe we should stop and get it sorted out. But it was clear Jock was some kind of official—in fact, he turned out to be the race manager—and he was out of control. Now he’s hurt, we’re in trouble, and we’re going to get arrested. That was how scared I felt, as well as deeply humiliated, and for just a tiny moment, I wondered if I should step off the course. I did not want to mess up this prestigious race. But the thought was only a flicker. I knew if I quit, nobody would ever believe that women had the capability to run 26-plus miles. If I quit, everybody would say it was a publicity stunt. If I quit, it would set women’s sports back, way back, instead of forward. If I quit, I’d never run Boston. If I quit, Jock Semple and all those like him would win. My fear and humiliation turned to anger.
A true f’ing shero.