Page 2 of 11
We all came out all right and were safely back at our hotel before the explosions happened. Rumours of other incendiary devices in the downtown Boston area turned out to be false. We all finally made our way back home in a timely, and safe, fashion.
But the broader implications of Monday will take a while for me, at least, to process. It was simply too close and the day already charged with too much emotion to be able to walk away with a clear sense of implications and scale.
I can, however, say that I will always be a runner. Running is at its heart about solitude, but it is also about community; wearing the gear and buying the magazines and talking the talk and ultimately putting on the bib and testing yourself, surrounded by others with like-minded ambitions. Train for a marathon and you necessarily add to that equation a healthy dose of optimism, and foresight and investing in something far down the road.
Whoever planted and exploded those bombs and brought tragedy to an otherwise celebratory day, should not and cannot take from us our willingness to look down that road. They can't take it from us as runners, or take it from the city of Boston, or the BAA or from the running community at large.
My next scheduled race is the Whistler Half Marathon in June. You can bet I will continue to prepare and will see many of you at the start line; I look forward to it. I may even return to Boston to run again next year.
In both cases, I will be extra mindful to share a kind word with the people around me at the start line; to hold close the people who support me in my running, on that day and others; and especially to thank the volunteers, race organizers and city employees and emergency workers who support us all on race day. They are the real champions at Boston and on any other race.
Without ambitions for a medal, or a finishing time or any other recognition they stand at the ready to step in when things go (sometimes horribly) wrong. Please, next time you race, take a moment to thank your course marshall or the nearest EMT.
Then keep on running.
God bless the people of Boston, those lost and those recovering.
Time for Whistler to stop resting on its laurels