Like most of you, I am shocked and dismayed by what took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today. I had been following along with the leaders and then turned my attention to the day ahead here at home. There’s a weird sense of disbelief when you read headlines that speak of senseless violence against innocent people. I read the first few lines of the news reel and felt my eyes fill with tears. What was the point of this? I can’t possibly imagine what those people were thinking and feeling at the moment they realized what was going on around them. To turn a personal triumph into a tragedy in the matter of seconds must have been surreal, heartbreaking.
I’ve never run Boston because I’ve never qualified. It’s one of those bucket list races that as a runner you feel like you must at least attempt to make it to. I have friends that account their qualifying races fondly and those that speak of near misses. I spent most of my adolescence watching my dad train and race to get to the holy grail of running. At the time, being a slacker sailor and ski bum, I didn’t understand the draw. He made it to the start line at the age of 51 after qualifying at the Victoria Marathon. He bought all the swag which he still wears proudly more than a decade later even with that race pretty much marking his retirement from running. Finishing in 3:50:42 gun time would have put him about 20 mins before the first explosions were reported to have gone off today. Would he and my mom been out of the area by then? Who knows. I do know that thinking this way gets you nowhere and just propagates anger, fear and worry.
There is now a standing wager in our family. If one of his kids qualifies for Boston he will take up running again. For a while that wager was carried by only myself. I gave it one shot and since 2007 haven’t laced up on an open marathon to try again. It just wasn’t my thing. He’s probably about to start digging out those old running shoes though as my sister will race her second marathon on May 5th in Vancouver. Her goal is to make the BQ time of 3:35, I think she’ll smash it and ole dad will have to hit the pavement once again. She will be triumphant and I will be at the finish line to welcome her back. I’ll admit, I’m scared. Scared that this could happen to our city too, but we can’t let these people take our sport and make us fear our own cities. I hope people keep running this race and who knows, maybe I’ll make an attempt to get to that start line one day. I hope you all keep running and racing, it’s who we are and what we do. Don’t let anyone take that from you.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going home to snuggle my hubby and rub my little buddy in my belly.