Running the Boston Marathon two years ago was one of the best running experiences I’ve ever had.
The runners are thrilled to be there, the spectators are incredibly supportive and the communities from Hopkinton to Boston are so welcoming.
I was so excited to cheer on several friends in Monday’s marathon. But I spent the afternoon worried sick about their safety.
I thought of my family, including my child, standing along Boylston Street two years ago, cheering me on at the finish — the same area I saw in photos of the destruction at this year’s Boston where other runners’ families were injured.
I’m so sad about the tragedy at Boston. But runners are resilient, and I’m proud of what I’m hearing. About the runners who ran from the finish line straight to the hospital to donate blood. About the medic who was helping tend to the injured immediately after finishing the marathon.
My friends at Boston described the spectators who, after the explosions, continued to cheer the runners and gave them food and water and even their coats.
Kathrine Switzer’s quote was repeated so often yesterday: “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
And the hopeful comments from runner friends online:
— “Nothing will make me not run tomorrow morning and be grateful to be able to do so.”
— “When I started running, I remember being so self conscious at my first 5k. I didn’t look like a runner. I was slower than all the other runners. But I quickly learned no one else cared. Runners are awesome like that. They just want you to do your best regardless of where you come from or what you look like.”
— “I ran six miles tonight knowing in my heart of hearts that there are more good people in the world than bad ones.”
If I was lucky enough to qualify for Boston again, I’d be back in a heartbeat. I know the 2014 Boston Marathon will be filled with runners grateful to be there and celebrate the accomplishments of their hard work and strong spirits.
Photo: Boston finish line, 2011.