Today’s post was meant to be a recap of my 50 mile race over the weekend. A post about overcoming adversity and fatigue. A post about celebrating the ability to finish a race.
Maybe it still is the latter.
Like many of you, I experienced it on TV and through social media. It didn’t seem real. It didn’t seem fair. It didn’t seem like the place. But is there a “proper place” for things like this to happen? I’m not going to go into detail about the events that happened at yesterday’s 117th Boston Marathon. We’ve seen the images and heard the reports. It’s sad. It’s scary.
On a personal note, my thoughts quickly turned to my family. I thought back to times when they have been waiting for me at numerous finish lines. My eyes going from side-to-side to see them smiling, cheering, taking photos of me as I approach. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that the time on the official clock is around my pace.
4:09 — that’s around my finish time. I finished Fresno last November at 4:09:28… the very first race where both The First Lady and Wifey were waiting for me. Waiting for daddy.
What if it was at a race where I was running?
What if I got tired and hadn’t reached the finish line yet?
What if I decided to take that extra walk break?
What if I stopped to take a photo for this blog?
Too many “what if” questions that lead nowhere. If I run faster or slower maybe it puts me right at that spot or further away. Or like yesterday, not there at all.
I’m okay with telling you that it scares me. It scares me to think of it all. It scares me to think that something I do for fun, could be a danger to me and my family and friends. I’m smart enough to know that tragedy can strike anywhere and none of us are immune from it, regardless of what we do and where we go. But this one hits pretty close to home.
* * * *
The community was amazing. People were sharing information across social media — on where to organize for help, on where to find out if runners had finished or been stopped. Some people were tweeting out if they had heard from friends, as was I. We came together as a community to support each other in any way we could. Thoughts, prayers, well wishes and gratitude were plentiful.
Sadness, fear, anger and confusion were also a part of that mix. But I think it will be strength that is the biggest result of yesterday’s tragic events. We’ve seen it take place already. The strength of volunteers, law enforcement and medical to help in any way possible. The strength of runners to unite and support each other. The strength to show that we can be afraid. That yes, we can be scared for our loved ones, but we will continue to move on. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but it will be when we are ready. The strength of runners is never in doubt.
A race with history. A race with tradition. A race where dreams are realized and legends are created. A race where not all of us are fortunate enough to run it, but a race strong enough to hold our hopes. To capture the essence of what many of us strive for: to run Boston. One thing you can count on. We will run again and there will be honor and remembrance on Patriot’s Day in Boston 2014.
Thank you to everyone that exchanged information across Twitter and Facebook yesterday. There were some fellow runners and friends that were running and spectating. It’s comforting to know that when events like yesterday happen, we can all come together and help and support one another, either in words or actions.