Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I am a Runner. I will Endure.

Over the past 28 hours, I've heard a lot of reactions to what happened at the 117th Boston Marathon.  The following sums up my favorite perspective.

We are runners.
We are endurance athletes.

As a graduate from Boston, coach, and runner, it is impossible to say that my whole body doesn't ache with sadness for what runners and spectators alike had to endure this past weekend.  Words will never be able to adequately convey the feeling of having the marathon's ever-present joy so quickly replaced by the horror of a bomb explosion.  However, amidst the rubble, blood, tears, and racing bibs, I take comfort in knowing that as quickly as the mood was changed in Boston this past Monday, the healing process began just as fast. 

Thanks Coy for the image.

As you watch the videos on the news, take note of how quickly the Boston Police, National Guard, medical staff, and volunteers as well as other runners rush TOWARDS the bomb site to help others.  Look at how many yellow jackets and first responders are wheeling victims past the finish line towards the medical tent. 

In the hours since, it has simply been an exponential process.  The news has given us stories of countless runners and spectators as well as the stats for how many people have flocked to the hospital to give blood.  From friends in the area, I've heard stories of locals ushering people into their own homes; total strangers were offering their phones, bathrooms, food, and homes to those in need.  There is even an official list of Boston locals offering places to stay and meals for those in need.  

Then come the runners themselves.  As a community, we are not runners just for the heck of it.  You don't run a marathon for giggles.  Ok, it might seem like some of us do, but there's always a deeper meaning. 

We run for health, both mental and physical. 
We run to stay sane. 
We run to keep things in perspective. 
We run in order to challenge ourselves. 
We run because someone once told us it was impossible, or we thought it was impossible ourselves. 
We run because we can and other don't have that privilege. 
We run to empower ourselves and others. 
We are not a community that shies away from adverse situations; we endure.

If we see a hill, we don't stop; we change cadence and push on.  If we get a cramp, we alter our gait and change our breathing.  If we hit the wall, we take note and push through it.  We revel in the bad days because we know that because of them we can have great days.  And we NEVER back down from a challenge.  Simply put...


As an example of how we have already begun to bounce back, here is a list of the actions of our community I've uncovered so far

  1. BC students have organized a 5 mile walk to finish the marathon. 
  2. Chicago Bloggers are organizing a 5k run to raise money for Boston relief. 
  3. The new Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has offered a donation for every pass to him this season; $100 for a completed pass and $200 for an incomplete.
  4. We Will Finish the Marathon has planned a re-run of the Boston Marathon route for Monday May 6th.  
  5. RunJunkees put together a virtual run to honor those affected as well as show unity amongst runners.
  6. Multiple fundraisers have been set up to help the victims (I will refrain from posting links in order to avoid promoting any scams.  Please look into a donation group before sending money).  
  7. And BuzzFeed has plenty more for you!
And it's less than 2 days after the event.  

Therefore, while my heart still aches for those affected by what happened, I know that we are already back and in force. 

Boston, you are forever in my heart and prayers.  Be safe and keep on running!!  I now have even more of an incentive to push for my BQ this fall in order to be a part of the crowd that shows how strong this community is at the 2014 Boston Marathon. 


1.  Is everyone you know alright?

2.  Have you ever considered the possibilities of what could happen to you in a race (injury, accident, etc.)?
As I posted in Facebook, I always take a moment before a race to accept the potential risk I'm taking in order to do what I love.  

3.  Are you shooting to run the 2014 Boston Marathon?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 


Suz and Allan said...

Such a heartbreaking day yesterday but I'm sure there's many a runner that will remember yesterday's events and push themselves to qualify for Boston.

Shannon @I Survived and Now I Run said...

My heart breaks for those affected by this tragedy...I had blogger friends who were running it, they have checked in and are safe and sound...You are right, runners are built on pain, strength, endurance and character...We are united and we won't lay down, we will rise together! Thanks so much for sharing!


Coy Martinez said...

I love that last picture Kurt!! Sooooo true! I wish that they would organize races all over the US where the proceeds would help pay for the medical bills of these people! No one deserves any of this!

ajh said...

That last poster is great! So many runners are finding ways to put positive energy forward!