When the Boston Marathon ended Monday, spectators and runners alike gradually dispersed and returned to their normal lives—with one exception.
Casey Becker, a student at Wellesley College, has been standing and screaming just off Central Street, part of the marathon course, since 10:00 Monday morning.
The private all-women’s college is around 12 miles into the race, and for years students there have turned out in the hundreds to form the “Wellesley Scream Tunnel”—a loud and boisterous cheering section that can be heard well before it’s seen.
While her fellow Scream Tunnel students gradually resumed their usual routines Monday afternoon, Becker remained. At first, friends and classmates said, it was funny.
“We’re worried about her,” said Sidney Prescott, a fellow Wellesley student and close friend of Becker. “We’ve tried a few times to talk to her, to coax her away, but nothing works. It’s scary.”
Prescott said that during the race Becker was cheering for the runners, along with everyone else. After the final stragglers passed, however, Becker shifted gears, screaming at passing cars, dogs, and birds. Eventually, she said, Becker screamed about everything from Donald Trump to a class she’s taking on Chaucer.
Other times, witnesses said, she simply screams.
“I know (Becker) has been under a lot of pressure lately,” said Gale Weathers, a professor of media at Wellesley who counts Becker among her students. “Which could explain the screaming. Sometimes we all need to vent, don’t we?”
Authorities said they won’t intervene unless Becker becomes a danger to herself or others, and speculated that she could be out there for “quite a long time.”
“Eventually,” said a college spokesperson who requested anonymity, “next year’s Boston Marathon will roll around, and she’ll have a primo spot.”