Ever since I got back into running, the Boston Marathon has been an iconic event for me. It's something I love to watch, and would love to run. The purity of the race, the history, the tradition. 27,000 people, who put in so much time and effort to qualify, to be able to register. 27,000 people who, for the past few months or longer have put blood, sweat and tears into training for this one day. They have sacrificed time to spend with family and friends, missed out on so much pleasure to put all their effort into this race.
I admire these people, the dedication they have to qualify, the dedication they have to make it to Boston. I admire the people who support these runners, the family, friends, co-workers. The Bostonians who take off work, leave their homes to cheer on these people. Even if they only know one runner, or no one, they support. They are what keeps us runners strong, keeps us going. When we want to quit, when our legs hurt and we're tired and we just don't think we can finish, we run for them. We run BECAUSE of them. Their cheers, their signs (my personal favorite is still "Worst Parade Ever"), their offering of little treats like Sour Patch Kids. These cheerleaders are my heroes.
To have what happened on Monday, for some coward to take such a sacred event, such a patriotic event and attack innocent people is senseless. Whoever this was will not win. They didn't just attack the United States, but they attacked the world. The thing is, this has backfired on the intent. Because if the intent was to make us fearful, the complete opposite has happened. People have united, people are standing strong. The response from the running community yesterday, the support was amazing. The #runforboston could probably be seen all over the world. People joining together to get out and run, to not let this horrific event stop us. The London Marathon is not cancelled. Runners will still unite to run 26.2 miles. Spectators, cheerleaders, family and friends will still come out to support these marathoners.
This is why I love running. This is why I will continue to run. This is why I will run the Big 5, I only have four to go after all! I will not live in fear to attend events, to cheer others on, to be cheered on myself. And I will take an extra second to thank those people, those supporters, those volunteers. So thank you. Thank you for your support, and I will run strong for YOU. I will run strong for Boston.
Yesterday runners everywhere united to wear a race shirt to support Boston, so wanted to share mine!