Where do I even begin? I don’t have anything to say to you that hasn’t already been said. I mean, what do you say to a monster?
This attack hit too close to home. Other horrible events have happened, sure. But running has always been an escape, an outlet to disappear from the horrors of the world for a few hours. It was a security blanket, a safe spot. Until yesterday.
Can you imagine running the race of a lifetime, only to have it fall apart in front of your very eyes before you could even cross the finish line? Or having your entire family waiting to see you in one of your proudest moments, only to find out that you’re ok, but they’re not? No, of course not. You’re incapable of such emotion.
I am all runners—those who ran Boston and those who were there in spirit. I was directly affected. I finished Boston, only to have the explosions halt my celebration. I was stopped half a mile from the greatest finish line in the world, without understanding why. I was at home, frantically trying to get in touch with friends who were running or spectating. I sat in shock in front of the TV, silently willing the injury totals to stop rising. I looked at the race clock—4:09—and realized that could have been me crossing the finish line, my family blown apart in an instant. I answered phone calls, texts, and DMs, assuring family and friends that I was at home, not amid the unfolding horrors. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry, but I also wanted to run.
You took away a lot more than limbs and lives yesterday. You took away innocence—the sheer exhilaration that is the Boston Marathon. No runner will ever think of Boston again without a heavy heart, or step into a race corral without a little pit of fear in their stomach that isn’t pre-race jitters.
Unfortunately for you though, you did not take away our spirit. Runners are too resilient to give up, to back down. We will be back. We will run Boston next year harder than ever. We will run Chicago, Marine Corps, New York. We will be alert, but we will not be afraid. We will run.
With no thanks to you,
All runners everywhere