Remembering the Boston Marathon…

The feel of your soles hitting the pavement. The roar of the crowds. The pride in pushing your body to do something so extraordinary. You do it for a charity, for a lost one, a loved one–or just for yourself. This is what runners do. This is what marathoners do.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2008. I did it with two of my best running friends, Katie and Rachel. We were part of a team that trained together for multiple marathons. We ran through ice and snow in the Bronx, through wind and rain in Brooklyn, logging the miles, counting the minutes and checking off the weeks.

I sit here today in shock and heartbreak over the news of two explosions at this iconic event. Reports are still sketchy–many injured, possible packages found… your mind goes to the immediate: terrorism. It’s tax day. It’s Boston. It could easily be domestic. It’s also the world’s most famous running event. So it could be international. Or maybe a gas line exploded. We don’t know. The facts will come.

What is on my mind now are the runners, the spectators, the emergency workers, the reporters, my fellow running friends and anyone else who was, until a few hours ago, enjoying being part of this storied event. On so many levels the Boston Marathon signifies what is good in the world: Persistence, Drive, Kindness, Endurance, Humility, Charity.  But right now, it also signifies the bad. Or the potential of badness that exists. I am trying not to jump to conclusions.

Soon I will put on my running shoes and hit the trail. I will think back to that day when I crossed the finish line: elated, exhausted, proud. For all of those who crossed today and for all of those who watched, it will be a different memory. One mired in death and destruction. Even one of the toughest events in the world remains, at this moment, so incredibly fragile.

 

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  1. by bev johnston

    On April 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    We were so proud of you each time you ran a marathon. We admire the discipline and commitment required and we wish each of us would put that effort into a worthy cause. As a survivor of 9-11, you must be especially sad that another American tradition has been violated. We pray for everyone in Boston, for those who were killed, injured, survived, or witnessed this horrific tragedy, and for all who, in their lives, have had the courage to run against the odds.

  2. by bev johnston

    On April 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Runners, walkers, supporters – we are all injured. And we pray for the victims of today’s tragedy and for healing for those who are so mentally and emotionally ill that they lash out at people they don’t even know. In a sense, they are the victims, for they will forever carry the burden of their horrific actions.

  3. by Jill Cordes

    On April 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Bev, your notes are amazing. Thank you for reading and for all your well wishes. It’s hard to grasp what happened… but just like 911, eventually it will become a sad reference point to the evils of our world.

  4. by J Traub

    On April 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I ran the Boston Marathon yesterday. It was my seventh Boston in eight years; I missed 2010 only because my son was due two weeks later. The Marathon — all marathons, but especially Boston — had been an amazing celebration of life and accomplishment for 116 years. My heart knows that magical stretch of Boylston Street so well, where runners can see the finish line and finally be sure that they’re going to make it. Until they couldn’t. After the randomness and horror of yesterday — Boston’s 117th running — I feel shaken, saddened and very lucky today. And very glad to be home with my husband and son.

  5. by Kimi

    On April 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    What a tragic thing that happened. =(

  6. by Jill Cordes

    On April 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    J Traub–I am so happy you are okay too. Hug your family.

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