Boston


I just wanted to say a quick word about the Boston Marathon, as to date I have only briefly addressed it on twitter. 

To me, the Boston Marathon is a culmination of hopes and dreams- of dedicated training to qualify and hours of dedicated training to compete. Those who run are a mixture of incredible athletes (elite and otherwise) and amazing individuals who have pledged to undergo 26.2 miles of pain to raise thousands of pounds to help others. it was the scene of Mutai's incredible 2.03.02 marathon in 2011 and much earlier Switzer's 1967 stand against only men being allowed to compete in marathons.

Such great and resilient people are joined by their matching halves- Spectators- people who give up huge amounts of time to watch, and to support, and to drive runners through pain and tiredness, whether it be over 10k or a marathon course. These people either love sports, or running, or their team, or people in that race, or all four. At all great races runners mention the spectators. Families spectate. Lovers spectate. Friends spectate.Approximately 500,000 people spectate at the Boston Marathon every year.

At the 2013 Boston Marathon several bombs went off near the finish line. These bombs were engineered to cause mass fatality and limb damage through the use of metal shrapnel as an ingredient. These bombs killed three spectators- two young women (Krystle Marie Campbell and Lü Lingzi) and an 8 year old boy (Martin William Richard)- and wounded hundreds. Many of the injured lost limbs. The 8 year old had just congratulated his father on finishing and had headed back to join his mother and sister. His six year old sister lost limbs, and his mother sustained severe head trauma.

I cannot imagine how it feels to in one second finish a marathon and in the next have your family torn apart. I cannot imagine how it feels to go from cheering or running towards the marathon finish and suddenly find yourself in a war zone. I cannot imagine how it feels to have your life changed forever in an instant. Hundreds have been wounded, many in ways that will be life-altering. others found themselves stopped short before the finish, with no chance to claim their run. When people remember Boston 2013, they wont remember Lelisa Desisa Benti or Rita Jeptoo's victory. No one will remember PBs. They will remember images of pain and suffering. 

The motive for the attack is not yet known by the general public. It may never be. However, I dont understand how any religious, political or idealogical view could every justify such acts. I dont understand that mindset and no matter the motive given, I never will.

Although I have never run a marathon, running to me is not just a sport it is a community. Wear tempo shorts and decent running shoes and in most cities in the world you will connect with runners without meaning to- the guy at the next table in Starbucks will ask about your times, people running past will smile. They know that you, like them, have caught the running bug. That you're an addict. Because of this community, the attacks in Boston feel like an attack on every runner and their support system. That they attacked those who had strived to athletic goals and those who had supported them most is deplorable.

However, one thing was also shown in Boston that weekend. A certain Fred Rogers quote has been repeated over the press and the blogosphere. It sums up the thought exactly: 
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
 In Boston there were those carrying the injured; those running to the hospital to give blood; residents offering accomodation for all and any that needed it; Google's document for finding people and whether they were safe; residents on the street offering food, water, comfort. For just a few who chose to plant and detonate weapons, there were thousands and thousands of helpers.

4 Comments:

  1. Beautifully written and a very good post about a tragic event- I also rather like the quote at the end.

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    1. Thanks :) I felt like I had to acknowledge the event and that quote is brilliant in the face of so much horror in the papers every day!

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  2. love these words- thanks for writing such a great tribute to it..
    xo
    welltraveledwife.com

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    1. Thanks :) I felt like I had to acknowledge it given the whole running community has been affected. Felt odd to ignore it xo

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