This space is usually reserved for documenting "pretty things" or adventures in the kitchen, but today I can't fathom writing about anything but what occurred at the Boston Marathon yesterday. I lived in Boston for seven years and have run the Boston Marathon five times. Patriot's Day is a sacred day in the city, a tribute to the Battles of Lexington and Concord that is observed on a Monday, and a day that the entire city embraces to the fullest. Thousands of people line the streets of Boston and nearby suburbs to cheer on the runners as they make their way back to Boylston Street, and the city turns out to support the marathon rain or shine. Bostonians do things like use old running shoes to plant flowers in their window box (see above - I look for this display every year on Beacon Street), handout goodies along the race course (this ranges from brownies in Wellesley to beer in Chestnut Hill), and spend their entire day screaming in support of people who have trained for months and actually paid money to run 26.2 miles (check out this slideshow for pre-race and race images from yesterday). Everyone looks for Team Hoyt and you can't see Dick pushing his son Rick without it bringing tears to your eyes and inspiring you to be a more selfless person. It's a day when 500,000 people set aside their differences and unite to watch an historic event.
For the runners, you can hear the roar of the crowd on Boylston Street from Commonwealth Avenue, and as you turn onto Hereford Street you know you've made it. And when you actually make a left onto Boylston Street, you find yourself in a tunnel of screaming spectators and regardless of your pace and how you've felt for the previous 26 miles, you feel like a hero.
It sickens me that someone would attack the human spirit in such a disgusting way. I can't stop thinking about the three victims, including an 8-year-old boy who was cheering for his father and whose sister and mom were also injured, and those who are still hospitalized and fighting for their lives. It's hard not to lose faith in humanity when acts such as these occur.
But then you hear stories about how people responded yesterday, and it gives you hope that there is more good in the world than evil. What I do know is that next April, the Boston Marathon will be run for the 118th time. People will still push themselves to qualify or raise a large sum of money to benefit a worthy charity. Undoubtedly, there will be more security and the spirit of the race will change and the events of the 2013 race will be at the forefront of everyone's mind, but this horrific act won't put a stop to the running. As Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon wrote, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon." I know people will do just that.
My Mom and I after the 2012 Boston Marathon - we promised we'd be back to run again. Maybe 2014 will be our year?