I was not in Boston on Marathon Monday. I’m mostly thankful for that, but part of me wishes I had been there since so many people that I know and care about were suffering through the events that took place yesterday.
In talking with other runners over the past 24 hours, the common thing that we all feel is that our family has been attacked. It’s a family that includes not only those of us who run, but also those who gather to watch us achieve our goals.
The road to Boylston Street is long and hard. Our friends and families support us along the way to that finish line, both in the months leading up to the race as we slog through long winter training runs, and on race day when they wait, sometimes for hours, for us to cross the finish line into their waiting arms. Finishing Boston is the culmination of a lifelong dream for many, and it is a moment to be shared with those we love.
The thing that I can’t get out of my head right now is that the Boston Marathon bombing took the life of an 8 year old boy. A boy who was watching his dad finish the race. Thinking about this is agonizingly painful.
I have a 9 year old son, a 7 year old daughter, and a 3 year old son. When I ran Boston in 2011, I suffered through much of the second half of the race. But, I knew my family would be waiting on the sidelines somewhere in the final mile. The thought of seeing them kept me going. I finally did see them after I emerged from an underpass, and it gave me the mental boost that I needed. I wound up in the medical tent after crossing the finish line (shortly after the photo above was taken), and all I wanted to do was to be able to get out so I could find them.
Whoever committed this crime took the life of a son watching his father accomplish something amazing. It injured his daughter and his wife. And I can’t help but feel as if under different circumstances that could have been my kids, or my wife standing there on the sidelines. I’m sure anyone who has run Boston feels the same way.
My heart goes out to the family of Martin Richard and all of the others who were injured (or worse) for doing nothing more than supporting their friends and families on an otherwise great day in the city of Boston. May those who lost their lives rest in peace.