This tweet expresses it perfectly. The feeling of the finish line of a marathon is something that cannot be explained. It's supposed to be magical and a time of celebration and joy; it's a moment that changes your life. I cried when my brain finally started processing that this was real and happened.
I was upset for what this meant had happened as well as who had been affected. Yes, it was runners, but it was also (and even more so) their support networks and the people out cheering for them. It was the people waiting for their runners to cross the finish line after 4+ hours of standing and waiting and tracking and hoping.
The Boston Marathon is an event that we all dream about. Some of us view it as being in our grasps, and others of us view it as a pipe dream for somewhere in the untold future. The fact that this race that we all put on a pedestal was attacked made it even more the center of attention. How could this happen at all? How could it happen at Boston?
I have been praying for those that were affected in any way by attack at the race today, and I wish there was something I could do. I've been so humbled by all of the amazing acts of kindness I've seen over the internet since the time of the events. My favorite quote that I've seen floating around is this one, because this is what I started noticing even more after I saw it for the first time.
And there were so many helpers. And instead of running in the opposite direction, the race volunteers, runners, police, and other spectators ran towards the scene of the blast to help those that had been hurt.
People started posting and circulating a Google Doc sharing that they had a bed or a couch stranded people who couldn't get to their hotels could stay on.
Everyone started rapidly posting on FB, twitter, and Instagram to find and spread the news that they had located friends and family.
It was a day that we all came together as people; it didn't matter, runner or not, people came together to make sure things were handled in the best and most efficient ways possible to tend to people's lives first.
There are two things that I found that I had to share with you.
1. If you've watched the coverage at all you saw an older gentleman knocked off his feet while running to finish. He's shown up in a few iconic images. His name is Bill Iffrig. He was running his 45th marathon, and he got up and finished; he placed 2nd in his age group. It shows the resiliency of runners and people in general. We're not willing to give up without a fight. Whoever performed these violent acts today didn't kill our spirit or resiliency.
2. Also, I read a great blog post entitled, "If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon." It was too moving not to share.
I hope you and your families are all safe. I'm sharing my scrambled thoughts from the event. I just feel like I wanted to write out what had been floating around in my head all afternoon and a few things that helped me see a better side. I will continue to pray for all of those affected. And just to be clear, I don't view this as any worse because it happened at a race or had to do with running. For some reason it just hit closer to home because I knew people running and dream of one day being able to run Boston.