Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heartbroken and Hopeful for Boston

My heart is broken for Boston and I don't know how to put that ache into words.
To the runners: I am sorry that the race that was supposed to be your Olympics turned into an utter nightmare. You have hundreds of thousands of Boston alumni behind you, and millions of runners who are behind you.
To the spectators: You are the lifeblood of the running community. You pull us through our races, and it is you who we look for. We are here to support you now. I read that crowdfunding has already led to $1 million raised to help with medical expenses. I cannot describe how sad I am for the three victims of the bombing, for the scores of wounded with irreparable damage, and the friends and families of the victims and. I just cannot fathom all of this.
My marathon, the Boston Marathon, gave me some of the happiest days of my life. And I still cannot fathom that that day has now delivered one of the most horrific acts of terror in recent history. That finish line delivered such promise and hope, and now is permanently enmeshed in the public memory in a tragedy.
Thinking of the Boston Marathon has always brought a lump to my throat, for it brought back memories of joy. Now, I'm moved to tears when I think of it the end of the innocence and of an era when running was so purely joyful. In 12 seconds, that joy disappeared.
I know that Boston will come back stronger. Boston is amazing. The citizens went under lockdown and the police enforcement knew what to do to get suspect #2. There are so many stories of heroic acts of bravery that have been pouring through all week - it makes me proud to be affiliated with the city.
I knew more than a dozen people who ran on Monday, and I am so proud for all of you, those who finished and those who didn't. I got to track one of my closest friends, Jenny, who ran her Boston debut and finished under 4 hours. 4 years ago, she could run a 5k, and now she ran Boston. I'm beyond grateful that she and everyone else I knew was okay. A lot of great stories happened and races unfolded before 2:50 on 4.14.13, and we need to remember that too.
We need to remember the resilience of Boston and our country. We need to remember that gutted feeling of utter sadness and fear and learn yet again how to create a world that uses love, not violence. We need to remember Marathon Monday for both the good and the bad.
I'm running a 10k tomorrow, and I have more determination than ever to run strong - Boston strong. They handed out ribbons at packet pick-up last night - not that I needed a reminder. For the city that has given me so much, I run for them. I love Boston and its people, and I'm proud to be connected with one of the greatest cities in the country.

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