I've been debating posting about this. Better people out there have been way more eloquent. I have to admit, I don't handle these situations well. I am torn between sorrow and rage. I mean, what kind of f'd up world are we living in? I really don't know what to say to comfort those in pain. Anything I say I feel is either stupid or lame, but I want express my grief/sympathy. ShadowRun and Abby put it way better than I ever could. I've been reading all the tributes and comments on the web and really haven't found the words to do justice to how I feel. I feel a connection with the runners and spectators in Boston. Whenever they hold one of these events, I feel their pain/exhilaration of accomplishment. With my running, I have signed up for several blogs/sites that provide inspirational tips and suggestions. One that hit yesterday from long time runner Roger Robinson of Runner’s World seemed to sum it up for me:
Marathon running has a long tradition of celebrating, commemorating, and affirming life. The original Olympic marathon in 1896 was to commemorate the man who carried the news of a victory for freedom. The first Boston Marathon a year later followed that idea by honoring the ride of Paul Revere, not on his actual route, but always on his day, Patriots Day in the State of Massachusetts (that's why it's on Monday). The Kosice Marathon in Slovakia and the Comrades Marathon in South Africa were created to commemorate the dead in World War 1. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon affirms life after the bombings in that city in 1995. This very Boston Marathon mourned and honored the school kids who were gunned down a few months ago in Newtown, Connecticut, not far from here. Out of respect for them, the race was started for the first time in 117 years not with a gun but with an air horn. Even without that special purpose, marathon running is a sport of goodwill. It's the only sport in the world where if a competitor falls, the others around will pick him or her up. It's the only sport in the world open to absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or any other division you can think of. It's the only occasion when thousands of people assemble, often in a major city, for a reason that is totally peaceful, healthy and well-meaning. It's the only sport in the world where no one ever boos anybody. If you're losing your faith in human nature, look at marathon crowds, standing for hours with no seating, no cover, no bathrooms, to cheer thousands of strangers. I found this eerily true. Many times in my last 5 runs, I lost steam, found it hard to keep going only to hear people whom I never met cheering me on.
Every year I seriously question my resolve, my rationale for doing this. Every year I find some reason to make the trek, mostly self centered. I have to admit that I am considering doing one more just in memory for those in Boston. I feel humbled to be in the crowd of such people. I can only aspire to hold up my end and give my all.