Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Thoughts

First off, I want to let everyone know that both the wife and I are ok.  We were far away from the explosions when they happened so we were some of the lucky ones.  Thank you to everyone who checked on us, asked if we were ok, contacted us. It was amazing to see how many people there were who tried to get a hold of us.

I'm sure by now everyone has written their own, read others, posted about something, but here is my take.  I wanted to take a few days to collect my thoughts and be able to put something together that made sense to me.

What happened in Boston on Monday was an utter travesty.  A gruesome, horrific event.  There is nothing that I can say that hasn't been said before, or hasn't been said by someone who can use better words than me.  So I wont even try.  What I will say is that I just don't understand the motive, the reason, or why someone would do something like this during a marathon.

Running, racing, cycling, triathlons are worldwide events.  I can tell you that as someone who ran the Boston Marathon this year, I ran with a person from virtually every country I can think of, as well as some countries I cant.  I happily ran next to people from France, Spain, China, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Australia, England, Brazil to name a few.  And I know that because either I spoke with them, saw their shirts, heard them speak, cheered them or or received cheers from them, or read their race bibs/signs.  The Boston Marathon more than any other marathon that I can think of, including New York City is a worldwide race.  To bomb this race does not serve any political purpose, make a statement, protest a war, or anything like that.  This isn't Yankee Stadium, a Red Sox game, a Dallas Cowboy game, or even a Barcelona soccer match where the majority of spectators are from that city, country, etc.  This is an event that hosts so many different countries and we all appreciate and respect one another.  Even if its for just this one day, every single runner will look at each other with a moment of gratitude that we are taking part of this race together.  To do this on a day where we are all cheering for each other is just plain pointless.

Events like these bring us all together.  What happened on Monday showed that even more.  Once the first explosion went off, there were hundreds of individuals from every country helping whoever they could.  Monday's actions were about hate, cowardice, stupidity and anything along those lines.  But Monday's reaction was about love, helping each other, taking care of each other, caring for another human, and bravery.  It didn't matter where someone was from.  If they were injured, someone was there to try and help them.  So this tragic event by one of the worst people on the planet brought out the best in people in this city on this day.  That is something that I will take away from the day.

I will also say I am very thankful.  I know Marathon Sports very well.  If you recall from 2 weeks ago, I attended a Mizuno event there.  More importantly, the wife was standing in front of that store waiting for me to cross the finish line. If the bomb would have gone off an hour and a half earlier, she could have been a victim.  Or I would have been one of those unlucky individuals who couldn't find their loved ones.  I would have been involved near the blast and who knows what would have happened.  It is something like this that I cannot begin to comprehend.  I can't imagine what it was like for family, friends, or runners who had to endure that. 

However, I know this: The Boston Marathon, along with every other race will go on.  Races mean different things to different people.  They are there for competitive reasons, reasons to test your physical capabilities, push yourself mentally, for fun, to raise money for charity and thousands of other reasons.  No one can ever take that away from each and every one of us.  We will continue to strive for excellence and continue to take part in these events. Tragic things like this have a way of bringing communities together instead of tearing them apart.  I for one, would welcome a chance to run in next year's Boston Marathon if given the opportunity.  While I said no more marathons for me for a while, being part of the 2014 Boston Marathon would be an honor for me. 

I pray for the victims and victims families who have suffered more than anyone should in this world.  No one deserves what happened on that day.  All the wife and I could think about on the drive home was what happened if that was us?  What would happen to Riley?  Or worse, what if Riley was with us?  It is those thoughts that bother me.  To the families that have had to go through that, we are all extremely sorry.

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