Yesterday I started a memorial string of runs to memorialize those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon explosion. The challenge is to run 30 days straight without a day off. To some runners this isn’t that great of a challenge but I don’t think I have ever run more than ten days in a row.
This morning at 5:30 when the alarm went of my first inclination was to hit the snooze. I’ll run later, although I knew I didn’t have the time. Suddenly thoughts started pouring into my brain. A young boy, Martin Richard, would never have to have this conversation in his head. More like he would never have the opportunity to have this feeling. As I climbed out of bed, got dressed and climbed on the treadmill, my thoughts turned to the circumstances surrounding Martin’s death.
Mr. Richard, the father, had awakened that morning to run a marathon. He was probably feeling nervous and anxious. I know that’s how I felt the morning of my marathon. In his heart he was probably very happy that his family had come to see him run. I know that always means the world to me. Although he was happy they were there, his focus was probably mostly on his race and was not very attentive to them. I was that way. Through 26.2 miles he was most definitely in some pain. I’m sure there were agonizing times for him as most of us mere mortals have experienced in the marathon. I remember thinking in my second marathon that when it was over I wanted my girls to see me run through the finish line. Over and over I thought about how it was important not to give up because I didn’t want my girls to see their dad as a quitter. I’m guessing Mr. Richard felt the same thing. Only for Mr. Richard his day ended even worth than the necessary pain of completing a marathon.
Mr. Richard’s family, Martin, his daughter and his wife, were decimated by a homemade bomb inexplicably set off near the finish line. Martin was killed. His daughter lost a leg. His wife with significant brain injury from shrapnel. His life would never be the same.
As a runner, I hate the fact that an event that I love has been tarnished. It seems almost personal to me. Like I had been attacked.
My solace will be to run. It won’t help the Richard’s. It will help me to heal and hopefully help the running world to heal.
*****After writing this I learned that early reports of Bill Richards running the marathon were incorrect. He was a spectator also. I still needed to say what I said.