I staggered from bed in the heavy darkness this morning and headed out for my usual run ahead of the sun. It’s what I do, and what I’ve done for the last 4+ years. Just part of the routine. Unfortunately it didn’t feel very routine this morning.
So much to process. So much sadness. So much anger. So senseless, and brutal, and cold. Such a stark contrast to the warmth and support the permeates the running community that I’ve come to know and embrace through this blog, and training, and races. Although circumstance makes it feel that way, yesterday wasn’t an attack on running, it was an attack on people, and celebration, and freedom. If the timing wasn’t an accident, it was an attack on innocents and innocence, intended to optimize damage and maximize terror. When my kids ask ‘why?’ I wish I had an answer. Instead, I find myself asking the same question.
The true impact of this on America, and on society, and on events like marathons remains to be seen. Big-city marathons will never be the same. They will go on, and people will likely be even more motivated to participate, especially in the Boston Marathon, but the ‘feel’ of the races will be forever changed. I think of my family waiting for me in the stands near the finish of the Marine Corps Marathon a couple years ago, and don’t imagine I’ll ever be comfortable with that scenario in the future. Sadness and anger well up again.
There was so much good, decency, and heroism to see in the aftermath of yesterday, and I choose to focus on that. People offering help, food, and their homes to strangers in the midst of chaos. There is so much good around us, but it’s hard to miss the darkened bulb in a sea of light. Unfortunately extremism in the pursuit of attention is far too effective.
I pray for the injured, and the families of those injured or taken from this world. I hope for swift justice, and the discovery that this is an isolated incident. I hope for the return to normalcy, but not complacency. Until then, I run.