Stay Strong and Come Together
I’m at a loss for words. There are so many, yet none of them seem right. Every possible emotion has flowed in the last 24 hours. The joy of tracking my friends simply chasing their dream, gave way to disbelief, anger, sorrow, and now resolve. I got word by email from my brother Andrew who is a former Boston Univ student and who cheered me on up Heartbreak Hill in 2009. My stomach just dropped and I sprinted from my lab at OSU to find my phone. My friends were there. My coaching partner with MIT was there, as were so many athletes with whom we spend every Saturday morning. Thank God for their safety and all the others from Columbus who are ok and for social media as well for allowing us to check in on them so quickly. My heart simply aches for those who were injured or lost their lives. I cannot fathom the heartache of the poor papa who lost his little boy and who’s wife and daughter are still injured. All they were doing was waiting for him to finish his race. There are no words.
I don’t have any answers, no advice but I do have hope. One of the students at my lab, a marathoner himself ironically, asked me “what could possibly be gained by this?” All I could tell him was that since we do not have evil in our hearts we will never be able to understand these things. I still want to know why, but I know we may never find that answer. Hope comes from the fact that the running community is an overwhelmingly positive one. We are individuals in a solo sport, but we are never alone. Unless your name is Kara, Shalane, Ryan, Meb, or Abdi you will probably not be winning a major marathon. However, none of that matters. Not now, not during a race when someone passes you and you give them a “good job” and not when someone picks you up when you are struggling at the end of 26 miles. We as a group are helpers, we are joiners, and we are part of something bigger than ourselves. I am so proud to be one of you.
We all want to help, but there’s not a lot we can do right now. One thing we can do is stand together and show our support. I for one refuse to be afraid. So I will run. I will pray, a lot, but then I will run. I do not know what else to do. So many of us do this for the love and today we have the chance to show the world a little thing or two about runners. We are strong, we are bound together, and we will not be afraid. The movement starts with us, log some miles for Boston. I will be at Fleet Feet in Lewis Center with an ever growing group at 6pm tonight, all are welcome. In the words of Jeff Henderson from Fleet Feet “Be Strong For Boston.” See you on the trail.