Runners in particular and Americans in general are trying to make sense of the tragedy in Boston on Monday.
What does it mean for the running community? What does it mean for those who support runners, who make our running possible and worthwhile? What does it mean for Bostonians and what impact will this craziness have on our nation?
Here are some thoughts from bloggers and writers across the country:
• Sioux Falls, S.D., journalist Jacqueline Palfy Klemond achieved a dream in 2012 when she qualified for the Boston Marathon. She endured injury to make it to the start line. She finished her dream race — and shortly thereafter, tragedy struck. From her blog:
“I hate that for the rest of my life, this day will be marked not by the storied, amazing history of the Boston Marathon but by the tragedy at the finish.
I hate that my finisher medal is going to be a collector’s item for all the wrong reasons.
I hate that innocent people were killed or injured doing something as pure, as unifying, as cheering people on at the finish of a race.
I hate that the people in the back probably are the charity runners who raise tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of running the Boston Marathon.
But I don’t hate Boston. And I don’t hate marathons. And I don’t hate Monday, April 15, 2013.
For her entire story, follow this link.
• Like many runners, Ashley, a blogger from San Luis Obispo, Calif. who runs the blog ratherberunnin, dealt with the tragedy by going for a run. From her blog:
“I finished the run, took off my one and only marathon technical shirt and tried to wash off all of the sadness, fear, anger and pain that has been living inside me since 2:50 PM on Marathon Monday.
I hoped that those feelings would go away, but they haven’t.
I am still hurting and I want answers.”
To read how she is dedicating this running season to Boston, read her blog post here.
• Blogger Erin Gloria Ryan wrote about the special connection between the average marathoner and the spectators who add so much to the experience.
“One of the many puzzling aspects of yesterday’s attacks was the question of what, exactly, the perpetrators thought they’d accomplish by targeting what basically amounts to a celebration of human tenacity. If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.”
You can read her entire blog post here.
From the professionals
• Novelist Dennis Lehane is a native Bostonian and his novels feature the gritty, determined town. Will this act of cowardice change the stoic Bostonians? Hardly, writes Lehane.
“Boston took a punch on Monday — two of them, actually — that left it staggering for a bit. Flesh proved vulnerable, as flesh is wont to do, but the spirit merely trembled before recasting itself into something stronger than any bomb or rage.”
Read his entire story from the New York Times here.
• Perhaps the New York Times had some of the best ponderings on the tragedy, because columnist Thomas Friedman offered some excellent thoughts in his column. We won’t let terrorists change our way of life, he writes.
“And while we are at it, let’s schedule another Boston Marathon as soon as possible. Cave dwelling is for terrorists. Americans? We run in the open on our streets — men and women, young and old, new immigrants and foreigners, in shorts not armor, with abandon and never fear, eyes always on the prize, never on all those “suspicious” bundles on the curb.”
Friedman’s column can be found here.
• Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby asserts that, despite the horror, Boston and America will bounce back — and will do so without giving up our most precious freedoms.
“If the years since 9/11 have taught us anything, it is that Americans are protective of their liberties and not about to relinquish them — not even in the cause of pre-empting terror. … Freedom still thrives in this country, and we are not about to surrender our liberties and our heritage by going overboard in pursuit of safety.”
Read his column here.
• When sports fanatics talk about the biggest, the baddest, the fiercest rivalries in sports, one match-up that’s sure to be discussed is that between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. But petty rivalries were set aside after Monday’s tragedy, as reported on ESPN-NewYork in this story.