Today marks the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. I know it sounds cliche, but … really … it seems like yesterday. I remember spending my lunch hour to follow the marathon on my computer. Once my lunch hour was up I turned it off only to start getting updates on social media about some kind of bombing or explosive at the race.
Immediately the coverage went back up. I was enthralled, saddened and upset. I was in shock on the devastation and panic it caused. For those thousands that were celebrating this wonderful occasion, that moment was taken away in a moment. The lives it affected was tremendous. From those that lost their lives, caused grave injury to the many others it affected in one way or another.
And, then there were the runners. As a runner I understood what kind of accomplish a marathon is. And, the Boston Marathon to runners is the Super Bowl of running. It’s the goal of many. I’ve had friends succeed in qualifying with ease and I’ve had friends fight for it year after year. The standards and qualifications are high for a reason.
This was their moment, yet it was taken away from them.
This profoundly affected me. It made running to me much more personal, especially as I was preparing for the Salt Lake Half Marathon later that week. It was hard to prepare knowing that many in the running community and Boston were hurting. So I wanted to find a way to honor Boston at my race.
With the help of some great friends I was able to design and get a tech t-shirt printed before the race. It really was an act of God, but it turned out exactly how I felt and it gave a message to the running community, Boston and the world that not just me, but thousands others in Salt Lake were thinking of them.
The Salt Lake Marathon did a wonderful job honoring Boston as well. Many runners showed up in green, many wore their Boston Marathon gear while others wore Boston Red Sox hats or Celtics gear. The race even started off the race with a moment of silence and playing of Sweet Caroline. They were all great tributes.
While, running the Salt Lake race was therapeutic for many, it didn’t erase or cure the struggles for those personally affected by the bombings over 2300 miles away. But, it showed to me the resolve that is not just the running family, but that of the American people. The way we get back up in moments like this and do our duty is truly the American way. No terrorist can break that.
That’s why it is important for us now, as it was a year ago to heed the call for peace from the late Martin Richard …
No More Hurting People. Peace.
To me, that’s what it means to be Boston Strong.