As a runner, I struggle with what to say regarding the cruel and senseless act committed yesterday at the Boston Marathon. My heart aches for the city of Boston, the spectators, the volunteers, and the runners. My heart is absolutely broken for the victims and their families.
Runners are some of the most incredible people you will ever meet. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, and walks of life. Runners love to share knowledge and enthusiasm about their sport, to encourage others to run.
Runners are helpers.
Nowhere was that more evident than yesterday. When horror-filled photos and anecdotes dominated media coverage, reports of runners going straight through the finish line to the nearest hospital to donate blood serve as a reminder that there are still many good people in this world.
One such good person I have never met, but we are virtual friends in the DailyMile running community. Phil S., from Orange, Massachusetts, is an EMT and yesterday served as a paramedic and zone captain for the finish line medical sweep team at the Boston Marathon. Where he and his team likely started their day anticipating sprained ankles and dehydration, they instead found themselves running with their colleagues towards disaster as first responders.
I am more proud than I can say to be part of the same community as these amazing people. In solidarity with them, today I wore a race shirt and I ran. Even if you do not consider yourself a runner, I hope you will consider doing the same. You need not run fast or far, only enough to join in the spirit of togetherness.
Run because you are free to do so.
Run because you are healthy and able.
Run for those who didn’t finish their race, and may never race again.
Run because you can.
Jennifer is a recreational runner living in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. She writes about running for health and fitness at Terrapin Crossing.0