I think I'm taking this more personally because I'm a runner. I've never qualified for Boston, and probably never will. I've never even run an actual marathon. But I do run and I love races. Anyone who runs knows that Boston is the Holy Grail for marathons. This should have been one of the greatest days in these runners' lives. Instead, this amazing day was marred by death and tragedy. And I'm pissed off about it. Pissed about the cruelty and senselessness of this event. Pissed about the innocent lives lost and ruined due some coward trying to cause as much carnage and chaos as possible. And, as a runner, I'm pissed that thousands of runners who have dedicated their year (or several years) to this race weren't allowed to experience the joy of crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. (Yes, I understand that this last point is NOTHING compared to the loss of life suffered today. But it still pisses me off.)
This photo blows my mind. A Boston finisher walking past a member of the bomb squad. (Photo credit Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
But as I did with Newtown, I need to focus on the glimmers of hope in midst of the tragedy. The first one being that all East Nasties who are up in Boston are accounted for and safe. (Thank God.)
The second being our amazing first responders. The sight of policemen, National Guardsmen and even random volunteers immediately running over to the grandstands where the first bomb detonated and tearing down the barricades to get to those injured is just awe-inspiring. Seriously. God Bless them. I don't know what those people are made of, but I wish I had one-tenth of it.
Another little glimmer is the outpouring of assistance from the Boston community who opened their homes to runners and their families who needed assistance. And some restaurants offered free meals to runners after realizing that thousands of runners couldn't get access to their wallets after the race because they weren't allowed back into the race area to pick up their personal belongings.
And finally, there is the story of 78-year old Bill Iffrig. He's the first runner you see crumple to the ground when the first bomb goes off. He got up and finished the race. Official time: 4:03:47. He would have beat me, no doubt.
I saw this on Facebook. I'm not sure who wrote it, so I can't give them credit, but I think it's appropriate.
I am a runner.
I may not have qualified this year.
I may have qualified and not run.
I may have been injured and unable to go.
I may never have qualified.
But, I am a runner.
And my heart is in Boston today.
God Bless those affected. My prayers are with you.