What the Events of the Boston Marathon Mean to Me

Normally I love April. My birthday is in April. I love April flowers blooming in my yard. I love the change in the weather from the listlessness of March rain. I love Earth Day (today!) and running in an Earth Day race each year. I love Arbor Day. Although Tax Day is in April, I do love refunds. April is my favorite month.

Minus this year.

Like all Americans, I felt stunned and bewildered by the horrific events at the Boston Marathon, among the many other tragedies that splashed across the nightly news.

We are all too familiar with violent attacks in this day and age, but I always felt somewhat removed from them. I didn’t have any relatives or friends involved with the Sept. 11th attacks. I didn’t know anyone at Sandy Hook or at a movie theater in Colo. But I had four friends running in the Boston Marathon this year. All four are okay; two finished and two didn’t. They were still on the course when the explosions occurred.

But this was about more than my friends; this felt like an attack on my community–the running community. We all are in this sort of brotherhood/sisterhood no matter what race in the world. These individuals attacked my friends, even though I’d never actually met 27,000 of them.

To anyone involved with marathons,  you know there are two types: Boston and all the others. Boston is the pinnacle of a marathon achievement; a race so exclusive runners spend years trying to qualify. It’s difficult to get into and the ones who do it say it’s a dream come true. Bostonians know how much this race means to the running community;  they treat the runners like rock stars even before race day.

Even the “mascot” of the Boston Marathon symbolizes something unique: a unicorn. A unicorn is a beautiful, mystical creature that only exists in fairy tales and imaginations. I think it perfectly complements the sentiments of many on the Boston Marathon; it’s a surreal race that only will ever exist in their dreams–to make it a reality is an impossibility.

This is what it is for me.  I’ve never done Boston. I simply hope that one day I’ll be able to cross the finish line and receive my medal. To peak Heartbreak Hill wearing a bib you earned must feel like total euphoria. I wouldn’t know. I only dream about it.

Today many runners across the nation have organized Run for Boston. I hope that anyone with two legs runs just even a few steps to show support for those who will never walk again.