Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Aching for Boston

None of us are exempt from the vagaries of place and time and what brings us to be, or not be, at a specific location at a specific split second.  Nor are any of us exempt from the cruelty of those who choose us as “soft targets” and attempt to sap our optimism, our joy, our love of a good challenge, our desire to participate in a long-held athletic tradition.

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While friends headed off for the Boston Marathon without me, I continued wrapping up some race director work.  I participated vicariously through postings on Facebook, including a photo of my goddaughter and her toddler cheering on runners at the crest of Heartbreak Hill.  I tracked several of my training partners via the Marathon’s website, thinking what a great day they were having with perfect running temperatures and little wind.  They were running a similar pace and showed results up to the 40K mark, then curiously no final results were posted.

That is when the first phone call came of reports of an explosion at the finish line, followed by texts and emails with similar messages for me:  “So thankful you were injured and couldn’t run.”  That injury had stopped my training in its tracks and kept me from the start line and the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Again, the vagaries of place and time.

On what began as an exquisite April 15 race day, early evening came before I got confirmation that all my running friends and their supporters waiting for them at the finish were accounted for.  Some had been knocked into barricades, while others were within view of the finish line as they were diverted.  They survived.

 I did not lose friends.  Others did.  Lives will not be the same.

I watched the repeatedly televised footage of the man who was knocked to the street by the blast.  I later saw a report that he is 78 years old and that after being helped to his feet he took the last few steps to the finish line.  Like him, we will, with the help of others, pick ourselves up and move forward through our grief, our sadness, our outrage, our love of community.

Those who suffered the horrific loss of family and friends and those who are suffering with injuries that will change their lives forever will need our support far into the future.  We may not know them personally and only hear of them through the media, we may not  totally know their pain and grief, but we can be there for them.

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8 Comments»

  Red Hen wrote @

I was so, so, touched by the sight of that poor guy-Bill Iffrig-falling to the ground with the first blast. Delighted to learn that he went over the finish line. What a marvellous example he is to all of us, both for the empathy he evokes and the endurance he displays.I`d steal his marathon time too!

  marylouharris wrote @

He certainly showed the spirit of a determined runner. I agree on his time – I would need to cut about 15 min off my marathon time to pace with him.

  Patty wrote @

Mary Lou
I agree this was a horrific event. I still can’t believe this happened. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured physically and mentally. But we will all Run Strong and persevere all obstacles that brings us our freedom.

  marylouharris wrote @

Yes, strength and perseverance – and hope we will be running Boston together in the future. Take care and stay in touch.

  CJ Emery wrote @

Mary,

well said.

________________________________

  marylouharris wrote @

Thanks. Keep running.

  Janis wrote @

Beautifully stated Mary Lou

  marylouharris wrote @

Thanks, Janis. Ride on and have a peaceful day.


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