Friday, April 19, 2013

Random Thoughts on Boston

As most of you are aware, some bad things happened this week in Boston (which is putting it lightly). I'll refrain from most of the details as there has been so much misinformation been circulating. Internet news media has been attempting to challenge Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity by trying to report happenings at or near light speed, which inevitably leads to errors.

Here are the majorly important facts:
-A couple of bombs went off very close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon
-3 people died and a 100+ were injured (as of this post) as a direct result of the bombs

Even as I write this, there are reports that one of the 2 suspected bombers has been shot dead and another has been captured. I remain optimistic that the authorities have the right guys because I am hoping for closure on the situation.

I, like many others, am still trying to make sense of the situation. I remain skeptical that I will ever be able to understand the motivations or thought processes of people who attempt or commit such acts. There are just so many things wrong in the scenario.

First off, they attacked endurance athletes. Here is a group of people that actually paid money for the right to torture themselves over the course of 26.2 miles. These people voluntarily suffer for the pure joy of suffering. They are, however, of no danger to anyone else. They provide pain and discomfort only to themselves and no one else. There is nothing to gain by attacking these people.

Secondly, the only people stronger than the athletes are the family members of the athletes. I recognize the fortitude and sacrifice that the Wife deals with on a daily basis from the semi-obsessiveness that is the Banter. The Boston Marathoners are the cream of the crop of the endurance world. The families that put up with runners of that dedication are something special.

Third, they picked Boston of all places. This is a city that lead the rebellion against the evil British. This city has a boat sitting in the harbor called "Old Ironsides" just waiting for someone to piss them off. This is a city whose baseball team decided that Babe Ruth wasn't good enough to play on their squad. They're kinda badasses.

There is no training that can ready you for this situation but I think the city of Boston rose to the occasion. As I watched the race day horror unfold, I admit that I couldn't be more proud to be an American. I am impressed with the emergency response teams who put themselves in harms way to protect and serve others. I saw how quickly the people of Boston opened their hearts and homes to displaced athletes and families as they tried to make heads or tails of the situation. The outpouring of support was overwhelming even from a distance.

Almost immediately, the endurance world responded. Charities to provide for the victims have been established. On Wednesday, large hosts of people went running to honor the sacrifice and the fallen. Whereas I didn't join a group. I went for a run. I'd be lying if I told you that the Boston bombing wasn't on my mind.

On Thursday, I went for a run. I'd be lying if I told you that the Boston bombing wasn't on my mind.

On Friday (today), I went for a run. I'd be lying if I told you that the Boston bombing wasn't on my mind. This time, I even decided to run a route that sort of looked like a "B". Here's the map of my 6.5 mile run, trying to add another layer of symbolism as it was roughly 1/4th of a marathon...

A few people this week have asked me if the event has affected my desire to compete in such events. I can say with full certainty that it has. It has made my desire to compete in these events greater. I have a couple of races scheduled for next weekend. The RD's have announced that the race will go on. Which is exactly the way it should be. Even if they canceled the event, I'd go for the run anyway. I, like many other endurance athletes and Americans alike, refuse to be intimidated by such acts of cowardice.

To those who put themselves in harm's way- Thank you!
To those who suffered due to the bombings- You are in my thoughts always!
To those who will still show up on race day- Right on Brothers and Sisters!

I'll see you out there.

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