By now, everyone is aware of the tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon earlier this week. Why anyone would want to cause harm to another being will forever be something I cannot fathom, but in the days and hours following the tragedy I have seen and heard some wonderful outpourings of love and support from the running community. Like the story of this man who gave his medal to a runner who was unable to finish. Or how the residents and business owners of Boston opened up their hearts and homes to those displaced runners.
There are countless more stories of heroism and humanity in response to what happened that day. And while it may be some time before we ever know who was behind the attack or what motivated them to do it, one thing I know for sure.
On that day, we were all runners.
Near and far. Short and tall. Big and small. Fast and slow. There was not, there is not, a runner out there who is not thinking about the city of Boston right now. Numerous running groups and individual runners across the country took to the treadmill, pavement, and trails in the days following Boston to show solidarity by running for Boston. Friends and family may not understand why we run. Especially now with such attacks on runners becoming a reality. I’ve had at least one argument with a friend who wanted me to stop running out of fear I too might become a victim at a race. For those who run…you understand. A runner is not the kind of person who quits. Or stops. Or gives up out of fear. Runners have had to learn on those long and lonely runs what it means to dig deep, to push through, and to find the strength in your stride. A certain determination and bravado exists in all runners. It’s that same stuff that allows us to run farther and faster…to sign up for races in crazy places or run for hours on end.
Running is who we are. It is what we do.
And what Boston has shown me is the one thing that runners will not run from?
For those who want to make a donation towards raising funds for the families effected in the Boston Marathon Bombings, check out The One Fund Boston, established by the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino. You can also check out Gone For A Run which is selling a Boston Supporter t-shirt, of which the proceeds also go towards The One Fund Boston.