Whenever someone asks me why I run, or why I race, every time I seem to have a little bit of a different answer. In truth, there are lots of reasons why I lace up a few times a week and go for a run. But one that keeps coming back to me, is I run because I can. I truly believe that the ability to stand up and run down the block, or run across the city, is a blessing that must be taken advantage of because there are people out there who may not be so fortunate.
Watching the events unfold yesterday at the Boston Marathon was like a kick to the stomach. The finish line of any race is a place of elation and joy, not terror and sorrow. The overwhelming emotion you’re supposed to feel at the finish line is one of gratitude, relief, and thanks. So to see the pride of mother’s and father’s, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, watching their loved one crossing the finish line be replaced by the unrelenting horror of yesterday afternoon is simply heartbreaking.
Boston is the crown jewel of the global running community’s events. It’s a race that people train years for, just for the chance to be a part of a tradition that’s lasted over a century. I choose to believe that races like Boston, and any other race that anyone aspires towards, are the embodiment of something inherently good. They’re the focal point of hopes, dreams, aspiration and courage, and they represent the belief that we can make ourselves into something better through sport. Through sport we choose to make ourselves, faster, stronger, and healthier, and hopefully through sport we encourage others to do the same.
27,000 people were registered to run Boston this year. And one fool thought that he could erase the passion and drive of every one of those runners, their families, their friends, and the global community. They were wrong, they simply served to strengthen our resolve, affirm our compassion towards our fellow man, and remind us that in the wake of terror we can still find acts that will restore out faith in humanity.
Reflecting on the events of yesterday afternoon, comedian Patton Oswalt probably put it best,