I sat in the Chicago airport in pure shock yesterday, April 15th, 2013
On the TV came the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon and I could not stop staring in disbelief. As I watched I could feel myself welling up with anger (and for those who know me well, most have never seen me angry!). Thoughts that were going through my head - why runners? why Boston? Thank goodness I didn’t qualify last year! What has the world come to resulting in a bombing of such an event (don't get me wrong I believe all bombings are bad and devastating)? Who did I know that was supposed to be there this year? Are they ok? How can I find out if they are ok?
When I finally arrived at my destination I had an overwhelming number of messages from friends, family and even Facebook acquaintances checking in with me to see if I was there and if I was ok. Thank you all for your concern, I was lucky to not be there. Through the good old power of Facebook I was able to check for friends that I knew were there and all were ok (one ran a double marathon that day – did it in reverse and then ran the full course back with everyone!), which they were.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure this tragedy out and to tell you the truth I still don't get it and probably never will. I cannot see the connection between making a statement and bombing a marathon.
However, marathon running is about personal victory, overcoming pain, self-doubt. It’s about perseverance, resilience and determination. For those who have run one before you know what I mean, yes its part physical but the other challenge is controlling the internal dialog during a race and not letting it keep you from succeeding. Therefore when it comes to recovering from this tragedy I hope everyone looks at these characteristics and use them as they heal from what they have just been through.
I hope all of those affected will not allow this disaster to keep them from running or supporting other runners. Marathons bring so many people together, when you hear someone else has ran one, you instantly bond. Many people crowd the streets to watch in awe as people make their way through the course, feeding them words of encouragement and they often don’t even know the person. The people running in marathons help to push me when I run, the crowds keep me going, keep me relaxed and provide many humor breaks (there are often some amazingly witty signs on the course, I always have to read them!).
So runners, supporters, and those who have never witnessed a marathon, please do not let this affect the sport. Let’s use it to make it stronger, to truly show how runners can persevere!! The next marathon that is in your city go out and cheer, yell, make fantastic signs!