It is said that April 15, 2013 marks a day of tragedy in the running world, forever changing the face of the Boston Marathon. 176 were wounded and 3 died in the bombings.
I heard about the events unfolding, while at Home Depot. I called a friend, who told me about CNN’s breaking news. Suddenly, my focus on cleaning the basement felt trivial. We both had friends running the marathon. I turned to my phone for my information, suddenly bombarded by photos, videos, and articles covering every surface area of the news section.
Rooted in place, I couldn’t wipe the tears away. Memories flooded back of 9/11, Sandy Hook, and college shootings. Other individuals had similar reactions upon hearing the news and began checking for more information. We sought solace in each other. All I could think of was going to pick up my little man, giving him a great, big ole’ squeeze, and going home to see my husband.
To imagine what the spectators, volunteers, and runners went through and are still going through is incomprehensible.
For every storm, there’s a rainbow waiting to shine through.
A few articles and reports trickled in, focusing on the dozens of volunteers, National Guard, and runners that immediately turned back towards the carnage to offer assistance. Among them doctors, civil servants, and every day, ordinary people. Help poured out online in the form of donations and places to stay for stranded and evacuated individuals.
Virtual runs expressing solidarity and unity popped up across Facebook like wildflowers, including the Runners United to Remember. I invite you to join the event page for Runners United to Remember. If you are in the Atlanta area, I also invite you to join the Adventure Runners on our group run in conjunction with the online event, taking place this Thursday.
We cannot and must not let the cowardly acts of gutless individuals lessen or dim the light the binds us together as runners, as a society. “Run Happy” is not just a physical run. It’s a state of mind, an attitude, a spirit. Running happy has never been more important than it is right now, here in this moment. Do not shirk away. Run happy for those in Boston, for the spectators, volunteers, and for the runners. Run in their names and in their spirits. Run happy for yourself. Run for those who cannot run.
In doing so, we are united, a solid force with which to be reckoned. Not a soul will dilute our spirit, extinguish the force that drives us, or diminish our sport.
***In remembrance and reverence of those affected by the events on April 15, 2013.***