My original intention today was to write about my experience this weekend at the Baker to Vegas Relay with Marathon Man. Then on the way home, the news of the explosion at the Boston Marathon came to us by text messages, Twitter, Facebook, and the radio.
I was at Boston last year to watch my husband. It was an amazing experience. I planned to write about it here on this blog back then too, but something happened in my personal life that caused me to not write about the positive experience and instead I started to write whiny blog posts. I wasn’t a meanie, I was a mopey.
Driving home Monday from Vegas I was thinking to myself I’m not going to be like that anymore, focus on the positives, be more optimistic. Then when I heard the Boston news like many others it effected me on a deep personal level. Then I thought about it more and realized it did not affect me personally at all. I mean I am still very sad and my heart goes out to those families who are affected, but I am safe. No one I know is hurt. But with modern technology and internet news we find out instantly about tragedies that are on the other side of the country that normally we would not have had such intimate details about.
The internet is a great thing and we are still learning how to work with this way of knowing all, and feeling all, and being interconnected in an instant, and yet feeling more and more detached from one another. I don’t have a solution, just a thought about how instant information of tragedies make us have sudden feelings of hate, anger, and accusations. I was very upset and honestly one of the reasons I was upset is that the sad and angry feelings I was having about Boston were overshadowing my positive feelings I had being a part of this weekend with the Baker to Vegas relays. I know it sounds selfish and I apologize if I sound thoughtless or unkind, but I was mad that someone took away the fun time I had this weekend. Then I was mad that someone took away the fun time others were having at Boston. I remember when I was in Boston last year with Marathon Man, Chippy, and Lego Lad. The days before the run, seeing all the other runners walking around the city, sharing their stories, their reasons, their causes for running. It felt like being a part of something bigger.
Marathon running is a very different and unique kind of sport. Most runners willing pay to run 26 miles knowing they won’t win or even be in the top category of runners. Marathon running is a goal with yourself. It is a spiritual and life-changing process and accomplishment. Anyone who has completed a marathon knows that once you have done it, you belong to a group of very special people in the world. It pains me to think of the first timers in Boston and how they did not experience the joy that comes with that accomplishment. Cowards hurt, and maimed, and killed, and again I cannot stress how am very, very, sorry I am for all those affected.
An interesting article on ESPN sports talked about how the elite runnner Meb Keflezighi stayed after to watch the other runners cross the line. Again, when you talk about a professional athlete, how many would wait after they have participated in their event to watch amateurs? I am not a runner, but married to one and I know it is a communal achievement. It is pushing yourself to do your personal best. Yes, it is competition but more than that, there is a spirit of camaraderie that runners believe. Not everyone can run a marathon but those that do wear that achievement badge of honor with pride.
So what’s next? Well first we will try to find out who would do such a terrible thing and second we will have to change the way marathon events are organized. As stated in the same ESPN article by Jason Hartmann, who finished fourth in the mens’ elite race “Our entire sport is going to change.”
And he’s right, in some ways it will. There will be more security, more law enforcement, more background checks, but will that keep the runners from running? Absolutely not.
As elite runner Shalane Flalangan also stated, “The marathon is symbolism for overcoming and facing challenges. This will not stop anyone. If anything, it will inspire people to persevere and show that we’re better than that.”
Yeah. You can’t stop a runner from running. Trust me I know.
I still would like to come back later this week and write about my time this weekend celebrating the Baker to Vegas Relay race that my husband participated in. By no means do I want to show any disrespect to Boston but I want to share the pride I have for my husband and the officers from my husband’s team as well as all the other officers that participated in this amazing race.
Til then I will leave with this quote that one of my friends posted on their facebook page: