Sunday, April 21, 2013
I was shocked when I was at work, when a co-worker shared the news of the Boston Marathon bombings. First, I went to Facebook to check that my friend, who was running her first, was ok. I also saw that another dear friend who frequently did Boston was ok.
It wasn't until that night that I saw the video of what happened, and hearing the blast and seeing what happened shook me. Marathons are a happy place, and the images were just so incongruous. Tears came, and it felt personal, because the Running family feels so much like a family. Even strangers understand each other inimately, because we all run and have so many hours of the week revolved around running for many of the same reasons. We all find solace, joy, communion with God, and vitality on the run. Spectators, too, are like family. They come to cheer on runners, standing in bad weather, which really takes more endurance than the act of running in the race, when conditions are bad. They selflessly support their runners. They cheer on everyone, and make you feel special, even when it's not necessarily you that they're cheering for. They lift you out of dark places and give you energy from unknown sources. Our own families come to watch sometimes, and every spectator is someone's dear family or friend or fellow running enthusiast.
I kept wondering, who would do this? What kind of sick person does this? But being able to witness the bravery and selflessness of the first responders, volunteers, and the running community far outweighed those questions. It makes me proud to be an American, proud to be a runner, and ever more eager to make it to Boston in 2014 or 2015. I want to run to honor Boston, our running family, and those who have been impacted by the tragedy.