Marathons are a celebration of life. Friends and family members of runners are there too in celebration. Even strangers, cheering on for no one in particular, join in on this celebration. Bostoners call it the ‘Best Day of the Year’. For many it is the best day of their lives.
That celebration was robbed today from so many — just yards from finish line.
Add to this tragedy of three lives taken now includes an eight-year old boy and the eight children are among the so many injured. That number is growing. Coincidentally many of the runners crossing at the finish line at that time were running for charity — all doing what they love to help those who need it the most. Now, hearing that there have been so many amputations, so many victims young and old, seeing the sidewalks dark-red, this is one of the most sad and heartbreaking sights I have seen.
What I also saw was the heroic efforts of the emergency, police, and even citizens rushing to the scene, tearing down the barricades to get to the injured; to hear the reports of runners continuing on to the hospital to donate blood; the citizens of Boston who opened their homes to marathoners in need of a place to stay; these heroes rose to the challenge in the face of adversity.
Good news is that the local runners, friends of mine, their friends and family who joined them in Boston are safe and sound. Now it is time to think and pray about the many others who were not so fortunate.
This morning I was tracking the elite runners and my friends online. During the webcast, the announcer mentioned the row of national flags and said how proud how a scrappy little event now has become a the premiere international event of its kind. Nearly two hours later in that exact place the first bomb went off. This was not attack on the Boston Marathon, nor the city, nor our country – it is an attack against all civilized people anywhere in the world. For those responsible today, what they don’t know and have greatly underestimated is that runners are very strong, goal-oriented, most resilient people — with the best and the strongest of those runners are in this marathon. Add to this, if history has an indication, Boston is one of our nation’s most hard-nosed and determined city. When all these come together, no act of this kind can bring them down. We will all endure.
Yesterday I was thinking about the Pittsburgh Marathon coming up in a few weeks. I, just thinking about myself, was bellyaching that I doubt that I will come in under four hours last year. Now, thinking about all runners, families, friends and citizens of Boston and the entire running community, I will be proud to have the opportunity just to run.
I would be thrilled to finish at 4:09:45. We are it for the long run.