When you’re a runner, you feel like you’re part of a family. In today’s aftermath of the two explosions which occurred at the Boston Marathon finish line, we are more than ever reminded of this.
The Boston Marathon is an event where tens of thousands of ordinary people get together with one common goal; a finish line. Runners make their way through a historic and at times gruelling 42.2 km race, with tens of thousands of people cheering them on.
When runners get together for events like this, it’s not just for the personal best. The Boston Marathon is an event of camaraderie, perseverance and community.
Dave Emilio was in Boston with a group of about 30 runners from the Toronto Beaches Runners Club. His wife and son had also made the trip to watch the race.
“There’s people on the streets that don’t know each other – total strangers hugging each other,” said Emilio from the Westin Hotel, only a block away from the finish line scene.
He said the support has been overwhelming.
“What with social media, and text messaging, I can’t keep up with all the messages from friends from running community checking in to see if we’re ok,” said Emilio.
Images from the finish line make those of us at home watch along with a surreal sense of horror that something like this could be happening in a scene where celebration usually takes place.
Dustin Beach from Ottawa, Ontario was among the approximate 2,000 runners from Canada who were listed as participants in the race. He said it was crushing for runners who have worked so hard leading up to the event.
“Boston is the world’s greatest marathon, runners dream about completing in this event. This is such a sad day for Boston and the marathon. It will never be the same,” said Beach.
“As a runner, I feel helpless. Like my community has just been attacked. Arriving from the finish line and the big crowd and hearing this terrible tragedy has happened, deeply saddens me,” said Beach.
But the events from today won’t keep runners from running. We won’t let the bad overshadow the great achievements reached by so many who showed up for today’s race. This day still belongs to Lelisa Desisa Benti, winner of the men’s race and Rita Jeptoo, who won the women’s division for the second time, in addition to all the other runners who accomplished so much just by starting.
Today and the next time we put on our own running shoes, we’ll be keeping those who have been affected close at heart and we’ll be remembering why we run:
“iRun for Boston,” Daniel Le Blanc, Ontario
“iRun because I want to finish Boston one day,” Lisa Buck, Ontario
“iRun because I dream to qualify for Boston,” Adam Haesler, British Columbia
For up to date notices on the event you can follow this live blog
Any Canadians who have been affected are reminded to contact 1-800-387-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Google has set up a people finder if you are looking for a loved one: http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions