Friday, 18 April 2014 23:36
Monday is the Boston Marathon. Many folks might not have paid much attention to this day, in the past. But that all changed with the events that transpired just over a year ago. Now, this iconic marathon becomes even more so; dedicating the run and race to all those who were killed and injured.
My sister, Rachel, is going to be one among the pack. Last year after the bombings, she made it her mission to qualify and run Boston this year in memory and honor. And she did just that. See, unless you get a special "pass" or run with some sort of fundraising group, you have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. It's the only marathon in the U.S. that requires you to do so. To make the cut, you must run the entire 26.2 miles under a specific time for your age group. Unfortunately, in my seven full marathons, I have never hit the mark. It's OK, she's faster than me. A little sibling rivalry can be healthy. In all honesty, I'm really proud of her. That's us in the picture, at the start line of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. in 2011. If you can't tell by our body language, it was COLD. We actually did two marathons together that year, both within 30 days.
The Boston bombings rocked us as a nation, as it should. Terrorism is some tricky, nasty stuff. But as a runner myself, it hit especially hard. Runners run for different reasons. They run races for different reasons, too. Some of us do it for health (mental and physical) or to raise money for a cause. Some do it as a healthy competition, with others or with themselves. I've mentioned before that I run for a variety of purposes, but mainly to keep my sanity. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my best friend's brother, Mike, who was killed in Afghanistan.
Runners, in my opinion, are a special kind of people. Call us "joggers" and you might get a dirty look or a swift kick to the groin. So, when someone intentionally hurts us – and our supporters – we don't take it lightly. We take it in stride. We rise above. We stay strong. Boston Strong? Hell yeah.
In addition to being a runner, I am, as you know, a writer. So, last year when the bombings occurred, I got out my pen and I wrote a poem. And then I went for a run.