Reflections on the tragedy in Boston

A week ago today, I was glued to the TV watching the network coverage of the  Boston Marathon bombings.  It was all surreal to me.  Truth be told, I have never followed any marathon until this past year.  You see, I just started running a little over a year ago.  Even then, I never really felt that I was a runner.  I just ran/walked 5K races.   It wasn't until I ran my first half marathon at Disney this past February that I finally called myself a runner.  So when I started reading tweets and facebook posts about the Boston Marathon, I began to see it with runner eyes.  I felt excited.  I started rooting for runners whom I have met virtually.  For the first time I felt a connection to the race.  I was at work during the run so I got updates online.  At first check, I read that Lelisa Desisa Benti from Ethiopia crossed the finish line first in the men's division in 2:10:22 and Rita Jeptoo from Kenya crossed it in the women's division in 2:26:25.  They ran 26.2 miles faster than I ran 13.1 miles!!!

Just before the end of the school day, I decided to check more race results and read instead breaking news of two bombs going off at the race.  Just like many others who may have first read or heard of the news, I thought this can't be true.  Unfortunately, it was.  The initial questions was, who would do such a heinous act?  Now we know.  In the aftermath, four innocent lives were lost and nearly two hundred more were injured.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives and their families:  Richard Martin, Lu Lingzi, Krystle Campbell, and Sean Collier.  To those who are still in the hospitals recovering from their injuries, I continue to offer my prayers.

We now wait for the suspect to speak.  Why?  This is the question that so many of us want answered.  Why did you do this?  If the media reports are true, that they may have "hated" America, why?  Why do you hate this country so much?  This county that gave you the escape from your own country's troubles?   Where is your sense of gratitude?  I, too, am an immigrant and a naturalized citizen.  I love this country as I do my country of birth.  How could you do this to innocent people, especially to the runners who have just endured running for hours.  They were all defenseless?  Why?

I cannot help but feel so proud that I have become a part of great community of runners, both in person and virtually.  The overwhelming response from runners all over this country and overseas was incredible.  In the days following the bombings, social media mobilized runners to get to the streets and do what we know best, the glue that brings us all together - run!  And we did.  I have learned that the soul of a runner cannot be destroyed.  It is strong, stubborn, resilient.  Nothing, it seems, can and will bring us down.  I learned that instead of cowering behind the safety of our houses, we go out and face the enemy head on instead.

Will I ever make it to Boston to run the marathon?  Maybe never.  I do know that I will continue to run, until I can't.

On Tuesday following the bombings, runners were encouraged to wear a race shirt to work.  I wore the race shirt for my first half marathon, Disney's Princess Half Marathon.

Wearing my virtual bib, I ran 2.62 miles in memory of the victims of the bombing.

Our local running store, The Running Zone, hosted a "Runners for Boston" run/walk event.  Over 200 runners/walkers/dogs came to participate.  


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