Running is the most pure form of physical activity one can engage in; it’s a part of us as human beings. It’s primal to our existence. It’s simple.
A marathon is a sacred event for all runners alike. It’s a journey to prove strength and endurance. It’s an achievable yet lofty goal that many have as a standard of being a runner.
The Boston Marathon is the Holy Grail, the Mecca for those runners. It’s prestigious, it’s honorable and it’s a powerful experience.
Yesterday all of that was marred by the horrendous events that happened at the finish line.
I cried. As I’m sure many other runners did too.
Shock, confusion, horror, disbelief, those were only some of the emotions that I felt yesterday afternoon as I watched the scenes unfold before me. I know many of you felt them too. I felt numb and absolutely sick. Pictures and images seared into my mind that haunted me all afternoon.
This hits close to home, way too close to home. As many of you know I will be toeing the line on for my own marathon journey in just 4 short days and so to say that this event has not left me shaken just a bit would be a lie. I am an emotional runner and a very mental runner so this shakes me to the core.
I left work yesterday in a numb state of being, I knew I had plans to go to the gym but I really didn’t want to. Two images kept creeping into my thoughts and I couldn’t quite shake them. I know you have all seen the video feed of the man in the orange top that goes down at the starting line; that image just wouldn’t leave me. Thankfully I know now that he’s ok and that he was able to cross the finish line and even placed 2nd in his age group. This made my heart happy last night. The second image was floating around twitter and it showed a wall of runners stopped dead in their tracks about mile 21; the look of panic, confusion and horror on all their faces is evident. I cannot even begin to image what was going through their minds. I know if I had been running Boston I would have felt like I was living the most perfect dream so I can only begin to image the complete horror of the aftermath.
Racing is something I do, it’s something I know, it’s a very big part of my life and so see images of the events that happened at the beloved finish line makes it all too real. That could have been my family spectating, they always do and I’m thankful for that. But now, now it’s scary. I will still run and they will still spectate of course but not without caution.
I still plan to run my marathon on Saturday, how can I not run? Will I start and finish the race as carefree as I had originally thought? Absolutely not! On Saturday my heart will be heavy with sadness over such a tragic event but there is no way you can keep me from that starting line. The events at Boston may have marred the sport of running and racing and they will forever be changed but running is still running and to many it’s the only answer they have when tragedy hits. So for me Saturday is a race in honor of Boston. I may never get to run the Boston Marathon but on Saturday I will be running in its honor.
I know these are only my thoughts on this and even then these are only a small portion of what’s been on my mind over the last day. I started my day sitting at my computer and watching the race live, being so excited and thrilled; happy for the motivation I needed for my own marathon. Then just as quickly as those happy thoughts came they were sucked right out of me as I again sat at my computer watching live coverage of the horror unfolding that was definitely not what I needed before Saturday. I wasn’t there and so I cannot begin to speak on the tragedy, but as a runner those affected were my family and I can’t just sit back and be quiet. These events touched all of us, runner and non-runner alike and so all we can do is pray and let others know that as runners, we will still run.