Marathon Monday aka Patriots Day aka Boston Marathon was always a day I looked forward to each year in college. As a student at Babson College we were a short walk from the marathon route in Wellesley, MA. As a non-runner at the time to me it was always a day off classes, a day to party, and a day to head down and cheer for friends and strangers alike as they attempted to run 26.2 miles.
At the time I was nowhere near a runner, I actually couldn’t imagine running that distance. I was in awe of those who ran each year. One of my teammates would jump in each year and run it with little or no training. To those who live or lived in Boston the Boston Marathon is more than 26.2 miles it is an institution. It is a state treasure and in a state steeped in tradition this is one of it’s priceless gems. In the running world the Boston Marathon known to most as simply Boston is almost any runners dream. It is a bucket list item. A magical race.
This morning I watched the elite women finish the race before heading to my own workout. I got chills as American women took 4th and 6th place. The Kenyans made their mark in the women’s race. Then I rushed off to my own workout, came home had lunch. Then it happened. As I waited to see friends finish there races instead I saw news of explosions, two to be exact near the finish line and news of the Boston Marathon being shutdown.
A flood of emotions came over me, first was worry about all my friends. As I have many friends in the obstacle racing world, Death Race world, and ultra running world competing today. I also have countless friends from college and life around Boston running the race or cheering for loved ones. It is safe to say Boston holds a special place in my heart.
For the past couple of hours I have been watching the coverage, and trying to link up with all of my friends racing, spectating and more in Boston today. Thankfully my friends seem to all be safe and accounted for. To me this whole thing is another act of senseless violence. The Boston Marathon is not just an American event but really an international event, with about 90 countries represented there this year.
I am not one to place blame on a country, faction, government, person nor will I draw conclusions of the motives or such. All I will say is it is sad, sad not only for the people involved but sad for us as people. Sport has always been one of the last places of purity in our society, yes we have steroids in modern sports and other issues at the very highest levels. But those attacked today were not the elites, they were the everyday people. The runners finishing were the ones around the 4 hour mark, still a great marathon time but not the top tier. These were the athletes whom have friends and family waiting at the finish line for them. These are the runners who are in it for the purity of the run. There to experience the magic that the Boston Marathon is. They are there for the fun of it all and this is what makes me both mad and sad that their moment was ruined. Their view of Boston tainted forever.
It is senseless, completely senseless to attack such a historical event and one which is celebrated around the globe. The stories coming out are amazing, pictures of distorted limbs, but also stories of runners completing the marathon and continuing to Mass General to give blood after completing the marathon. My heart goes out to the victims, their families and friends. It is just so senseless, violence happens everyday all around us but rarely does it affect us in the sporting world like this incident has.
It is a sad day for Boston and a sad day for sport. It seems nothing is sacred anymore, nowhere is there purity left. Sports are suppose to be our reprieve the violence around us. It is suppose to be our comfort. All I do know is people rise to the occasion at times of crisis and the story of the marathon runners going to donate blood after finishing is what I choose to focus on today not the senseless acts of violence.
Thinking of Boston and all those in Boston today.