When I got home from my easy 3 mile run yesterday, I checked Facebook and saw, “Our prayers go out for those involved in the Boston Marathon”, “Pray for Boston”, etc. What the heck??
Since we don’t own a TV (don’t want to spend the money, no room in our small apartment, and no time to watch), I rushed over to the computer to figure out what happened. Two, possibly three bombs went off near the finish line 4hrs after the start. 2 killed, 23 injured and counting (currently at 176). Several of the injured were missing limbs. Blood and chaos everywhere. Terrorist attack.
I was in a state of shock for at least 15 minutes, reading and watching the news, trying to make sense of the situation. Why would anyone want to bomb Boston?!?!??
The Boston Marathon is special. In the late winter and spring time, that’s all anyone talks about. Runner’s World magazine devotes almost an entire issue to it. It is iconic, symbolic, the holy grail of running. It is the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Olympics of running. To have a Boston-qualifying time means you are fast, a serious runner. To actually register on time and run Boston means you are part of an elite club.
I’m struggling to put into words exactly what and why I am feeling. Terrorist attacks are awful, no matter how you look at it. In the last several years, we have seen many acts of terror here at home. Virginia Tech. The Aurora massacre. Sandy Hook. Those were all very tragic events. But for me personally, none of them hit home quite like yesterday. I am a distance runner. Running is part of my being, my lifestyle. I fully comprehend the physical pain and determination that goes into every training run, every race. I fully relate with those who run to still their minds, who feel strong and euphoric after a very sweaty 4 miler. I now share this grief, numbness, and pain over our beloved Boston becoming a target of terror with runners all over the world
So many people work so hard and devote so many miles, endure aches and pains, and give up sleeping in just to qualify to run Boston. Many who qualify don’t get a bib due to registration filling up too fast. And now, runners and spectators have lost their lives or limbs.
As a human, I am saddened at the violence. As a nurse, I understand and empathize for the pain these innocent amputees will have to endure for the rest of their lives. As a Christian, I am reminded once again of the ugliness of sin. As a runner, I feel a bond, a kinship with the marathoners in Boston and my spirit grieves with them.