I’d like to start by saying that after everything that transpired this week, it is good to know that the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing has been apprehended. Nothing can ever really bring closure to the few thousand people who weren’t able to finish their marathon–much less to those who lost limbs or, worse yet, loved ones. But I hope and pray that the knowledge that justice will be served brings some peace through the trouble, pain, and anger. Shalane Flanagan did an interview with Runner’s World after Boston, and I think what she said really reflects how I’ve been processing everything that happened:
More than anything [Joan Benoit Samuelson and I are] obviously sad, but we’re pretty much pissed. We take it pretty much personal. I just feel like more than anything we’re pissed off that someone did this.
I hurt for the people who didn’t get to finish, who may never run, who will never see their loved ones again. I’m even frustrated for the all athletes–but especially the professional runners–who poured so much into this race, only to have their performances overshadowed by the horrors that followed. But mostly, I was angry that someone would have the audacity to (attempt to) assault something so beautiful, something that represents so much, something that people work for and and love. I’ve never even been to Boston–much less run the marathon–and I still respect and love the place. So to me, and I believe to many runners, it was almost like a personal attack.
As a result, after the initial shock began to wear off (and for some, even before that), we all came out with our haunches up, defiant, angry, and ready to fight back.
Today, I ran at the St. Louis Unity Run for Boston. The St. Louis running community is still nothing like that in Seattle, but it was nice to be with people who care the same way I do, even if I don’t know any of them. One thing I noticed was that before the run commenced, they had a pastor from a local church pray–not just a generic “God bless America” prayer, but one that actually sounded like it might be prayed in a church (it turns out that the pastor was from a Church of Christ congregation). That definitely would not happen in Seattle, but I thought it was a very nice touch. Most of all, seeing so much blue and yellow in Forest Park today was incredibly encouraging. Runners running to and from the two Boston remembrance runs today would glance at each other with a knowing look, as if to say, “We’re here because we care.”
This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark
~Healing Begins, Tenth Avenue North