As a runner and a human being, I am heartbroken by what happened yesterday. First and most importantly, my heart aches for the victims and the people whose lives will be forever changed by yesterday’s terrible event.
As a runner, my heart hurts for runners who participated in the marathon. For those who finished before the explosions, I am sad that what should have been a joyous day was turned into a day of panic, fear and sadness. I met a lady when I ran Dizzy Daze who told me she was running Boston for the first time. Based on our conversation, I know she worked her ass off to qualify and running Boston was a dream come true. She was quoted in the Seattle Times:
“I cried when I crossed the finish line,” she said. “It was this beautiful, I-am-a-strong-person and I-can-get-through-this moment.”
Then, 20 minutes later, she stood in the middle of the street with a knot in her stomach, feeling vulnerable and helpless. Those two moments aren’t related, she said, but she will never be able to think about one without the other.
For those who trained for months/years and weren’t given the opportunity to finish the race, my heart aches for them as well.
To the people of Boston – for whom this marathon is a joyous, special tradition – I can’t imagine the pain, shock and sadness they’re feeling.
A marathon isn’t just a silly race; it represents what’s good and pure in humanity. In the Washington Post’s Article If you are losing faith in humanity, go watch a marathon, the writer says (with emphasis added):
The finish line at a marathon is a small marvel of fellowship. Everyone is there to celebrate how much stronger the runners are than they ever thought they could be. Total strangers line up alongside the route to yell encouragement. Bands play. Some hand out cups of water, Gatorade, even beer. Others dress up in costumes to make the runners smile. The fact that other people can run this far makes us believe we can run that far. It’s a happy thought. It makes us all feel a little bit stronger.
The Boston Marathon is especially sacred. Not just anyone can run Boston; unless you raised money for a charity, you have to qualify to run Boston. You have to be fast. For many runners like my dad and me, running Boston would be realizing a dream. As my dad wrote in an email last week:
For many of us, those BQ standards represent an almost impossible achievement. We won’t squeak in — we’ll sacrifice and sweat and discipline ourselves for months and years to become something we weren’t before the effort. We will have trained as hard as we could, and then a little harder.
It’s tough for me to process and think about what happened yesterday. I’m sad, angry, confused and scared. But I will keep running. And I will keep working toward my goal — to qualify and run the Boston Marathon.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible act of evil.