The Boston Marathon.
Every runner knows that it is our holy grail of races. For the past year, my running energy has been focused on qualifying so that I might be able to run in 2014. Even though I wasn’t running in today’s race, I had been looking forward to it for the past week. I downloaded the free app so I could track my friends and feel like I was there in person, cheering them as they raced to the finish.
Not long after the last of my friends crossed the finish line, a friend sent me a FB message that something happened in Boston. And then I started to see the news. My first priority was to make sure friends and their families were safe (thankfully they all are). But all day long this has been sinking in – the loss of 3 lives, the injuries of many, many more. This should have been a day of joy, celebration, goals achieved, dreams realized. But the day has been marred by tragedy.
My friend Chris put it well in his blog today: “Right now I feel like someone attacked my family. That is because someone has. They have attacked my running family. Runners and supporters I do not know personally, but you do not need to know people personally to recognize that this is a tragic moment for people there and family and friends waiting to hear from those in Boston.”
Running is a family, a community. This attack hurts all of us and touches something we find sacred. I am sad. I am angry. I am sickened. My heart breaks for Boston. But as I watch the reactions to this horrific event, I am a proud to be among such a wonderful group of people. Runners who had been running 26.2 miles gave blood, they rushed to help spectators. They showed resilience. Not one complained, they came together.
And Boston will remain a dream of mine and other runners, the reward of hard work, dedication, and endurance. But now it also carries another meaning with it. And as Dave Zirin reminds us in his post on The Nation’s website today, this marathon is so much more.
“In 1967, Boston Marathon gave us all a glimpse of the possible. Today we saw not of the world we’d aspire to live in, but the one we actually inhabit. Instead of the triumph of the individual amidst the powerful throngs and inspiration of the collective, we have tragedy, disarray, panic, and fear. Like a scar, it now marks us: the loss of security among the mass. But like a scar, we may need to wear it proudly. We will run next year because the alternative is too awful to contemplate.”