A Sad Day In Boston

My heart goes out to all of the runners, their families and the thousands upon thousands of spectators in Boston this Patriot’s Day.

This afternoon I am living in fear that I will learn that someone I know, that I care about deeply, was injured by these insane acts.

I had the shock of recognition when watching  videos of the explosions at the finish line. The women and men within steps of reaching the finish line, a goal they have spend months thinking about, dreaming about, training for, straining for, with a deafening roar and wind blast on their left throwing them off-course for the race, perhaps throwing them off course for life. To have come all that way and then this.

The Boston Marathon is legendary. It is magic.

Qualifying for it is a dream come true for many marathoners. Running in it is glorious.

One of greatest days in my life was when I qualified for the Boston Marathon, 48 seconds faster than the 3 hours, 10 minute cut-off.

Equally great was the day I ran the Boston Marathon, on Patriot’s Day in 1992. It was a day much like today — in the low 50s, sunny — with the whole state off from work, children off from school, seemingly all of them out to watch the marathon. I remember being thrilled and sunburnt and dehydrated and exhausted running that last mile. The marathon is a particularly unusual sport, when your body keeps moving far longer than you can ever imagine it moving, where your mental focus becomes narrower and narrower the longer you are running, until the focus is to keep moving, drink some water, keep moving, glance at the crowd to see a friend, look for the clock, keep moving.  I remember seeing the finish line ahead, my eyes on the clock, the sound of people around me a white noise. I wasn’t deliberately remembering or thinking this, it came in flooding my mind while watching the videos of the bombs going off right before the finish line. I’ve been on the block, past that area, running toward the finish line. There is an exhilaration in those final steps of a marathon — or at least there should have been. Instead, today, it was a cruel greeting of death and destruction.

It takes a certain unique cruelty to plant bombs at the end of the Boston Marathon.

For all of those where there, may the healing begin, may the journey back to health be swift and sure.



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