I had a race recap for the Muddy Monk Double Down ready to go for today, but that can wait.
I’m not a hugely emotional person, and when it comes to large scale national tragedies, I tend have a hard time connecting with them emotionally. It’s not that I don’t care; I understand tragedy and feel the sobriety and seriousness and sympathy for those involved. I just don’t get often emotional about it. Yesterday, that all changed.
The minute my friend Colleen told me about the explosions at the Boston Marathon I was in complete shock and disbelief. I spent the better part of the remainnig work day the news on the TV in our office kitchen. I was clinging to the hope that the explosions were the result of an accident – a gasline exploded or something electrical. I didn’t even want to imagine that someone would plan and execute an attack on the Boston Marathon. In those moments my heart broke for the Boston Marathon and the international running community.
I thought about all the spectators. The spectators that were there to cheer on friends and family and total strangers. The spectators who were closest to the blasts and how their lives have been irreparably changed. I thought about how important those spectators are. Yes, the races are about the runners, but the spectators make the race a real event. I thought about my own race experiences about how seeing Laura cheering me of in Dallas made me pick up the pace just a little bit, about how encouraging it can be to have a total stranger call out your name and cheer you on like they’re a friend.
I thought about all the runners and how racing will never be the same for them. Runners are an amazing breed of people. Here they are technically racing each other, but there’s no competitive hostility. When you’re struggling in a race and hitting a wall – mentally or physically, another runner is always the first person to boost you back up. I remembered the woman who kept me going through my first half marathon. She was the reason I finished that horrible race.
I thought about the runners who didn’t get to cross the finish line. The runners who bust their asses to qualify. The runners who may have overcome numerous obstacles just to get there. I will never be a Boston qualifier, but I know the feeling of accomplishment that come with crossing that marathon finish line – to have that taken away…it would be devastating. It seems so minor and silly in the big picture, but I can’t imagine what that would be like on top of everything else. I think that’s something that a lot of people who aren’t runners can’t/ don’t quite understand.
I thought about the first responders and all the EMTs that were already on site that day for medical support. Those people that thought they’d be responding to exhaustion and dehydration not loss life and limb. All those individuals that ran toward the disaster when all common sense and reason dictate running the hell away.
I thought about so much yesterday, and I cried. This national tragedy hit home in a way that nothing before it has. Yesterday’s events have altered the running community irrevocably, but the running community is strong, and ultimately, it will be triumphant. So today I wear my race shirt, and today I will run for Boston.