I watched news reports in disbelief when a crazy man blew up a truck outside a federal building in Oklahoma City.
I huddled with friends around a TV in the college cafe and we watched the second of two airplanes crash into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City and remember how a friend panicked because her call to her mother’s cell phone couldn’t be completed – and her mom worked in the WTC.
I was filled with anger and shock after a young man shot innocent elementary school students and teachers in their classrooms.
And today, I cried for the spectators, runners, and organizers of the Boston Marathon. My co-worker and I were both online and saw the headline at the same time: Explosions near finish line at Boston Marathon.
What? A marathon? Really?
Initial reports and postings expressed hope that this was a coincidence; a gas line explosion or something. Deep down, we all knew better. It’s the finish line at the Boston Marathon. One of the most epic marathons in the world. That would be some wild coincidence.
As much as I tried to not keep looking at Facebook or at the various news websites, or the hour-long news special on TV…I kept checking back. Despite being sick to my stomach. Despite my eyes welling up with tears.
I personally know one local runner who made the journey to Boston, and knew of a handful of others from the local runner’s club. I prayed they were all safe. Thankfully, word came later in the day that they are all safe in Boston.
I still just can’t believe the events that have unfolded.
I registered on March 27 for what will be, yes, what will STILL be, my very first marathon. I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in our nation’s capital on October 27.
The Boston Marathon, as far as I understand, was not a ‘first’ marathon for any of the runners involved. It’s my understanding that you must run a qualifying time in a marathon in order to even be able to apply for Boston. But I can’t imagine what a meaningful race it was for all who were competing. For some, it would be the pinnacle race of their running career. For others, it would be the final marathon of their career. Some were running for a cause, to raise money and awareness for a charity or a disease.
No matter what their reason, they were out there doing it. 26.2 miles. Months and months of training. Speedwork. Tempo runs. Sore hips. Shin splints. Tweaked knees. Scheduling real life around 2, 3, or 4 hour training runs.
While what happened today in Boston rocks us all to the core, I will NOT let fear win. The fire in my belly is now fueled by anger. Angry that anyone could be capable of something so despicable and disgusting. Angry that innocent spectators, cheering on their friends, family members, or complete strangers, were injured or killed. Angry that the blood, sweat, and tears so many thousands of runners put into their training was for nothing.
God will bring punishment to those responsible. He will bring justice. And He will comfort the victims and their families. And we must unite. We must stand tall against fear, speak out against what is wrong, and be ever so vigilant.
I saw this picture shared on Facebook today and will end my post with it: