Thursday, April 18, 2013

For Boston

This tragedy has hit pretty close to home for me.  I ran the Boston Marathon in 2004, but more importantly I, like so many others, know what its like to come to that finish line after pouring your heart and soul out for 26.2 miles.  And in that state, for some reason, you become emotional and a little confused.  So after watching those videos of the blast and the runners time and time again, I've been thinking a lot about how that must have felt.  Would I have wanted to finish?  Would I have wanted to run away from the blast? Would I have run back to help the victims?  Where is my family? It amazes me that those runners were able to reconcile those questions in that state.   Even more amazing are the folks that were determined to run back and help the victims.

But I know what I would have done.  I would have immediately searched for my family in a panic.  My family are my greatest supporters who are always there for me in races.  They were at that finish line in 2004.  Often in the finish of a marathon like that you desperately want to see your family anyway, but it is very difficult to figure out where they are because of the crowds.  My heart goes out to all of the runners who had family members at the finish and what must have been panic-stricken moments with no clue whether or not their loved ones were close to the bombs.  And to those runners who were stopped and not allowed to go forward with the knowledge that bombs have just gone off in the exact area where their family and friends are supposed to be waiting to cheer them on.  I just can't imagine how difficult that would be.

To me, the heart of the tragedy is that the victims are mostly spectators.  Friends, family, and strangers who sacrifice their time to support and cheer on others trying to achieve personal goals and glory.  It is a very selfless act for a sometimes selfish sport.  I can't put into words how much my family, friends and complete strangers have helped me in accomplishing many of the things I've done in running.  I can say with certainty that the results would not have been the same without them there.  And its these people, who too often go unappreciated, that bore the brunt of the damage on monday.  While doing a very selfless act of kindness and support.  My heart goes out to them and to all of the spectators and volunteers out there that day.

Coincidentally I was in Boston for business yesterday.  So I laced up my shoes and ran down to and along Boylston street to the Marathon finish area and site of Monday's bombing.  The finish area was solemn and powerful.  And of course there were news trucks set up everywhere.  But there were also signs all over the city displaying the pride, strength and courage that has also exploded in Boston.  And with a much greater impact than the physical, cowardly, explosions on Patriots Day.  I was comforted on that run.  As continued to run around the Charles River and over to Cambridge, I was also reminded what a beautiful and unique city Boston is.  I know Boston will push through.  As for me, I only ran four miles yesterday. Because of my core injury, four miles is about all I can stand before it gets too painful.  I will also push through.  I plan to have surgery in Philadephia in about 2 weeks and will train hard to recover and overcome as well.  My injury is nothing compared to the physical and emotional damage that many are facing right now, but they have given me strength. They have also given me a new goal.  I want to go back to run Boston again in 2014.  I think we can help each other recover.

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