Boston spent all of yesterday shoveling their way out of one of the largest winter storms in its history, with many getting just enough snow out of the way to move their cars. But one local hero went above and beyond, taking the time to carefully clear off the Boston Marathon finish line.
UPDATE (2:00 PM) — We have a winner! Back Bay Social Club, a restaurant right next to the marathon finish line, reached out claiming the shoveler was Chris Laudani, a bartender who was working at the restaurant yesterday.
@BostonDotCom The marathon finish line shovler was Christopher Laudani! He borrowed our shovel to do it!
— BackBaySocialClub (@BackBaySocial) January 28, 2015
According to Back Bay Social Club manager Ryan Swann, Laudani asked to borrow a shovel because things were a bit slow.
“I asked him why he needed the shovel, and he said ‘I’m going to go clear off the Marathon finish line if that’s ok with you,” Swann says. “He’s run the marathon the last few years, so I told him to go for it. And now his photo is everywhere.”
In a comment to Boston Magazine, Laudani said he loves the Marathon, and didn’t like the word ‘hero’ being thrown around to describe him.
I only did it to send a message…I love the Boston Marathon and everything it stands for, the finish line doesn’t deserve to be covered in snow.” He then added, “I think it’s cool that so many people feel the same way, but I saw the word ‘hero’ being tossed around and that I don’t like. I’m no hero, I’m just a nut who loves the marathon. The real heroes are the people who were out there clearing the streets and sidewalks, the [Boston Police Department], and the [Boston Fire Department] who risk their lives every day to keep people safe.”
We have reached out to Laudani for comment, and will update if we hear more.
The photo was taken by Twitter user @PhillyIdol1017, aka Phillip Hillman, from a window at the Charlesmark hotel.
— Gabrielle Daniels (@AroundTownGabby) January 28, 2015
Hillman and his friends have started a Twitter hashtag, #WhoShoveledTheFinishLine, hoping to find the identity of the man.
One of the early guesses was an employee of the hotel, but according to an editor at Mashable who called, the hotel had nothing to do with it.
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) January 28, 2015
Whoever that mysterious man is, we salute you.
The first photo comes from John Campbell, who submitted this photo to the Boston.com Blizzard 2015 Instagram contest.
In a comment to Mashable, Campbell confirmed that he was not the shoveler, but arrived soon after.
@JessieHeasman sorry, I came upon the scene just after the shovel hero finished. I just took photos.
— John Campbell (@whoisjohngalt) January 28, 2015
The next is from Monkmpls, who looks similar to the man in Hillman’s photo, though it’s too far away to tell for sure.
And finally we have a photo from Kelsey Karkos of a different man shoveling the walk posted two hours earlier.
Even the Boston Police want to know who he is.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) January 28, 2015
Given how busy Boylston Street is, it’s very possible that there’s a whole brigade of shovelers who kept the Marathon finish line clean throughout the day.
[Photos via Philip Hillman]