I was going to write about the Monument Avenue 10k today, about what it felt like running through one of the best parts of my own city, about how neat it was to run with my friend who set a personal distance record as she crossed the finish line with me beside her on Saturday. I was going to write about how running that race made me fall even more in love with my city and how, before even reaching the first mile, I knew I wanted to make that race a tradition. But writing about a wonderful recent race experience doesn’t seem like the right thing to do, given what happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday, where so many people had what could have been a wonderful race experience taken from them by an act of terror.
It makes me feel a lot of things, this awful thing that was done, and the amount of feeling I felt as I watched the news and scrolled through twitter and watched the injury rate rise surprised me. I’m always horrified when awful news strikes, of course, and all the recent violent acts that have filled our headlines have made my heart hurt, but what happened yesterday felt personal in a way that other recent terrible events haven’t.
I’m a runner. Crossing the finish line of the Monument Avenue 10k, one of the biggest races in the country, was fresh in my mind as I read and watched the worsening news coming out of Boston yesterday. The finish line is, to me, sort of a sacred thing. You strive for it. You train for months to reach it. You push yourself past comfort to get to it. You spend hours and hours fitting in long runs to be ready for race day, and then it arrives and it’s the best feeling, crossing that line, knowing that all you did, all the time you put into running and training, all the aches and pains, were totally and completely worth it for that feeling of finishing.
Except that yesterday someone took that away.
The success of a strong finish was stolen. Many runners didn’t even get to the finish line that they’ve been striving and training for for months. Lives were taken. Limbs removed. The life of a child was lost.
It’s just so much. It’s so awful, so frustrating, so sad, so scary, so horrible.
I’m angry that people put bombs anywhere, ever. I’m mad that lives are taken through acts of terrorism, domestic and foreign. I’m mad that there are people in this world who want only to cause hurt and pain and suffering. I’m mad that people lost limbs and lives yesterday, that there are still so many people in critical condition and that the number of injuries from this awful act has risen so high. And I’m so, so mad that what should have been this incredible day for the 23,000 runners of this race turned into this horrible thing.
But the thing is, runners are resilient. We have to be. Boston is resilient. People are resilient, and we’re good more than bad. Runners, race supporters and Bostonians donated enough blood yesterday in the aftermath of the attack that area hospitals have enough to meet the demand. Thousands of locals offered up their guest rooms, futons, couches and wifi to stranded runners. And that’s something.