As a runner, a marathoner and a triathlete, I have seen and experienced the accomplishment of running a marathon, the dedication in the training for it, but more importantly the community of endurance athletes who support each other constantly. I love this industry and I love those who I run with during training and racing. We all cheer each other on even if it is a competition because, in the end, we are all doing what we love.
With races such as New York and Chicago, you registered early enough or got into the lottery. But with Boston, you ran fast enough to qualify. You proved to be the best and earned the right to wear the Boston t-shirt, jacket and in the end Medal. People including myself have spent months training to run a marathon. Some have succeeded not only in finishing, but in qualifying time for Boston. I have come up short each year. But my goal in life still, is to run those famous streets from Hopkinton into the city of Boston, past the Wellesley girls and up heartbreak hill. Ask any runner and they will tell you, that Boston is their mountain peak and will not stop until they climb that mountain.
Today was supposed to be a celebration and instead was a tragedy. It hurts my heart to see someone purposely trying to ruin an incredible event such as the Boston marathon that not only is a tough course, but you have to qualify for it making it the quintessential race and goal for any runner. A race that brings together an entire city on patriots day, to honor those who have run year after year, on two feet and in wheelchairs. To cheer for men such as Dick and Rick Hoyt, a father and son team who has raced Boston for 30+ years with Dick pushing son Ricky in his wheelchair to the finish line. People lining the race course to watch those running for a charity and those people who are crossing the finish line in their first ever Boston. But what also brings us to Boston is to watch the elites, the super-humans who can run a 26.2 miles at a pace of 5 minutes per mile, many of which can only hold for a sprint. They have trained and trained to prepare for their shot at winning. We watch the live feeds every year to see who has done it. Sport brings people together and it did even more today.
Hearing what people did this afternoon makes me love my community even more when I hear about runners and finishers giving blood to those injured once they finished running 26.2 miles. Stopping to help push the injured off to ambulances and into the medical tent. Not only today are we humans helping one another, but we are runners supporting our fans, friends and families who come out to support and watch us year after year, as we help them in their time of need.