It’s about people, not running

First off, I’ve internally debated about whether to even post on the subject…I am, just to help myself deal with what happened.

We all know what occurred on Monday.  We all know how it happened.  We know lives were lost, forever changed, or otherwise affected.  It’s horrible, simply horrible.

I’m reminded of the phrase that all of us that have conquered the 26.2 mile journey offer to first-timers, “Welcome to the Club.”  But as I look at it, it isn’t inaccurate.  It should read, “Welcome to the Family.”  Marathoners, in particular, seem to share a family bond.  From the first finisher to the last, we all go through the same journey.

Over the last two days I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with what happened.  I wasn’t there, my friend that was is safe…but I’ve felt a deep sadness as if this were my own family effected.

Within the social media era we live in, people are using a variety of ideas to pay their own tribute to the victims.  From suggestions of running a few miles to “finish” the race for someone who was stopped shy of the finish line, to running a combined 26.2 over the next two weeks, or simply wearing a race shirt to work as a sign of solidarity…honestly, I think they miss the point.

In my opinion, this is not about running.  There are too many that are making it about running.  Running was not attacked Monday…people were.  The is not about the runner who was stopped at mile marker 25.  This is about the three families that will have one less person at the dinner table.  This is about the number of people that lost limbs.  This is about the first responders who won’t be able to shake the image.  Forget running.  There are far more important things.

I did go for a run on Tuesday, stopped after 1 mile.  The sadness overwhelmed me.  I felt horrible that I was out running while those that were cheering on family, friends, and complete strangers at the Boston finish line were in hospitals.

I’m supposed to race Sunday, a half-marathon in Fort Dodge.  I am going to the race, will start, but don’t know how I’ll react once the gun goes off.  But my race on Sunday doesn’t matter when it comes what happened.  Monday’s tragedy isn’t about running, and I beg people to stop making it about running.  This was not an attack on our sport.  This was an attack on innocent lives, lives that are forever changed.  Rather than tributes related to running…how about tributes related to people?  Lend a helping hand to neighbors and friends.  Spend more time with family.  Make sure to hug and kiss your spouse everyday before you head off to work.  Appreciate what we have…because running doesn’t compare when measured against the important things in life.

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