Boston Marathon 2013: Reflections On A Horrible Tragedy
I was at lunch yesterday when my husband texted me and told me the news there was an explosion at Boston Marathon. Three dead and dozens injured. Might have been terrorist attack. Immediately my heart sank. I had friends who were running the race. I had just sent them words of encouragement via Facebook before the race began earlier that day. I was horrified and immediately began checking Facebook to make sure everyone was okay.
The tragedy at the Boston Marathon 2013 has really hit home for me. As a runner, I know how much sacrifice it takes for one to train for a marathon. It requires months of training, building up mileage, and waking up early on the weekends to get long runs in. It means saying no to hang outs with friends so you can run in the morning or recover from your morning’s long run. It is a commitment. And runners know all about commitment. Their dedication to crossing the finish line begins the moment they sign up for a race.
Now, there is a difference between running a marathon and running The Boston Marathon. You have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon, and it ain’t easy. The Boston qualifying time (known in the running world as BQ) for a woman my age (18-34) is currently 3:35. That is an 8:12 pace per mile. I can barely hold that pace for a 10K let alone an entire marathon. This is why we, as runners, envy those who have the natural running talent to qualify for Boston or are able to do so through pure hard work and determination. It is the most prestigious marathon in the U.S. and probably even the world. Many runners aspire to run it themselves one day and spend years training to shave enough time off their runs so they can one day qualify and make it to the start line.
The finish line at the Boston Marathon represents humanity at its best. But the bombs and explosions? That’s humanity at its worst. What a juxtaposition. Right now all I can think about is the family of William Richard. His 8 year old son Martin Richard was killed in the bombing. His 6 year old daughter lost her leg. His wife underwent surgery for an injury to her brain. All while they were waiting to cheer him on for his terrific accomplishment at the finish line. A family forever changed. I can’t wrap my head around it, and I’m sure that many of us can’t. We are without words. Stunned, shocked, and saddened. But what I do know is that we can come together. We can support the runners, friends, and families of those who ran the Boston Marathon. I know we all have our rough times in life and it is times like these the strength and support of a community are needed most. The future of marathon racing will now be changed forever. This horrific event will probably become one where we all remember the day this happened – what we were doing, what time it happened, and how we felt.
Today the running community was asked to wear their favorite running shirt to support the Boston Marathon. I chose my shirt from the LA Marathon 2012. It was my first marathon and the only one I’ve run to date. I felt it was fitting. Here I am in my shirt:
Several of my running friends have written beautiful blogs on their thoughts on Boston. You can read them by clicking the links below:
Hug your loved ones a little closer tonight and if you pray, say a prayer for Boston. If you would like to help those in Boston, you can donate to the Red Cross by clicking here: Red Cross Donation
Much Love to All,
How has the Boston Marathon tragedy affected you? I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments. United we stand.