When I crossed the finish line at my very first marathon this past October, I had tears streaming down my face. I was crying because I was proud. I was crying because I was exhausted. I was crying because I had completed something a year earlier I had known to be impossible.
If I cross the finish line in New York City this November, I’ll have tears streaming down my face for an entirely new reason.
There’s very little I can say about today’s events, except that something horrendous has rattled the traditionally resilient running community and left its individual members feeling targeted and violated and shattered. It broke my heart last November when NYC runners couldn’t race after all those months of dedicated training due to Hurricane Sandy, but this is on a scale previously unfathomed.
To think just this morning I tweeted ‘Godspeed, #BostonMarathon runners! Run wicked smaht!’ I didn’t realize they’d be running for their lives.
We don’t know yet what the events in Boston today mean for our sport or for future races or most importantly, for the athletes and spectators involved. All I do know is something tragic has occurred, both to individuals and families as well as to the running community and our nation as a whole, and that as a result, we will be forever changed.
I find myself hoping a lot of things in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon. I hope this was an isolated event. I hope they catch whoever did it. I hope this doesn’t prevent other out-of-shape people, like me two years ago, from discovering a surprise love for the sport, setting a nearly unattainable goal with little expectation of succeeding, and proving herself gloriously wrong.
Most of all, I hope you’ll all join me in keeping the runners, spectators and first responders today in your thoughts and prayers. Boston, you’re on my mind tonight – and evermore.