The sport of running has changed my life. I have never been so bad at something and loved it so much. My favorite thing about running is the camaraderie and fellowship shown in the sport. Whether it’s spectators along the road with humorous posters or a cup of Gatorade or the fellow runners who offer a friendly smile at mile 22 when you’re ready to die, running is one of the only sports that includes everyone. From the fastest gazelles to the slowest penguins, covering 3.1 or 13.1 or 26.2 miles is something we are all in together.
Today this sport lost its innocence. The sport where everyone who finishes a race is a winner, where we endure injury, blizzards and rain to train, where total strangers come out to cheer for you, was brutally attacked by cowards. The Boston Marthon is the oldest and hardest marathon in the United States. It’s the only race you have to qualify for. It’s the race all runners dream about like a kid dreams of Disney world. History has been made at Boston. The first female to ever run a marathon, Kathy Switzer, did it at Boston. Last year a world record was set by the winner.
Boston has always had a mystical elite aura around it in the running community. We run hard and dream big of running a Boston Qualifier. Today, this special race and the community that loves and supports it was viciously attacked. No matter what the reason, no reason is good enough for an act of violence against so many innocent people. Innocent people who came together for a sport that encourages community and overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles.
The country may be in chaos and mourning right now over this senseless act, but one thing these attackers need to know: runners are strong and resilient. Runners can conquer anything that is thrown at them from a 20 mile hill run to a snowstorm to a coward who attacks their most sacred race. These are people who think running 26.2 miles is fun. Don’t mess with them or their race.
This runner and marathoner stands with Boston today. I may never run a Boston qualifier and my feet may never cross the finish line in Copley Square, but today, anyone who runs is a Boston marathoner. We stand strong with this city and the running community. We are one with Boston.