Wow. My brain has still not been able to comprehend what happened at the Boston Marathon, but as I sit here and watch the news, I find myself in mourning.
Boston, the city I love to hate. The city I spent four years living, the city I endure this love/hate relationship with since I’m a die hard Yankees fan – attacked on Patriot’s Day. On Marathon Monday. At the finish line.
Words cannot express the pain I feel for those affected.
My nephew texted to ask how I was doing. When I told him I was OK, he asked me if I am going to stop running races. Without skipping a beat, I said no.
Runners are strong, mentally and physically, and there is an unspoken bond between runners that I cannot explain to non-runners. I don’t need to know any of those people who were crossing the finish line – or any of their family and friends who were there cheering them on – to share a sense of pride and accomplishment that they are feeling. I was watching the marathon live, as I do every year, inspired by the runners and wondering their stories.
If I had been running that day, I would have been maybe 2-3 miles from the finish line at the time of the bombing. It looked like they were crossing at around the 4:10 mark, and I’m assuming I’d be finishing up around 4:30ish. I wouldn’t have been allowed to finish my race, but that’s not what matters here, because this goes way beyond running.
This is personal.
I know what Patriot’s Day means to those in the Boston area. I know how much pride they hold for the marathon, their beloved Red Sox who play an early game that day, and just the history and meaning for which Patriot’s Day stands.
I worked on that street – Boylston St. – and I know how much comradery this race brings to that area.
I also know the hard work that goes into running a race such as this. I’ve never ran a full marathon – only half marathons – but the bond is still the same. The blood, sweat and tears that go into the training. The hours dedicated, time away from your family to get your miles in. My first half marathon was a Boston race. I broke out into tears when I crossed that finish line. I could only imagine the emotion that goes into crossing that marathon line – especially the Boston Marathon.
The fact that there are people out there getting a kick out of seeing the chaos that the news is showing makes me sick, but that won’t stop us from moving forward.
My heart is in Boston this week. I never thought I’d feel so much pride for a city I – well, love to hate – but it’s there today, as well as the pride I feel to be a runner. Those of you who put it all on the line to run, volunteer and support this race – my heart is with you too.