from a runner

I still can't seem to shake Monday's events in Boston from my mind.
All week I've felt more emotional and I'm not sure how best to explain it but, more...raw.

I mentioned I knew several people running on Monday.
My colleague and good friend who ran returned yesterday and shared with me her firsthand experience.
I just had to share it with you.
She completed the race a little over a half hour before the explosions, but hung around the finish line for some time.
She and her fiance left the scene of the explosions just 11 minutes before the devastation.

Here's what she she wrote to her family Monday night.

I returned back to NYC from the Boston Marathon tonight.  I unpacked my bag, hung up my medal, and put away my bib number. Until the moments of the tragedy occurred, my fiancĂ© and I were quite honestly, celebrating.  We both ran decent races and the mood was electric in the beautiful city of Boston.   The fans were encouraging beyond what I could imagine, the sun was shining, and the volunteer staff were superb.  Minutes before the bombings, I had just expressed to my fiance that I finally experienced that coveted “perfect marathon day”.  I had smiled for the entire 26.2 miles of the run.  In my previous six marathons, I was fixated on cadence, pace, and qualification standards, but on Monday, I felt an inexplicable happiness and pride just to be a part of the Boston Marathon.  I chatted with fellow runners that were participating for moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and loved ones that couldn't be present.  I watched t-shirts dart by sponsoring charities for every cause imaginable. I patted the back of Team Hoyt, the incredible father who has pushed his son with cerebral palsy through over 1000 rigorous endurance events.   I motioned the "YMCA" with thousands of other runners at mile 8. I had the opportunity to high five hundreds of kids and college students along the sidelines cheering on their loved ones and laugh at the comedic warning signs for participants at Heartbreak Hill.  I had the privilege of running with a young man (no older than me) with two prosthetic legs for a few minutes at mile 21 who was impressively maintaining a faster clip than me.   At the end of my marathon journey, a runner from Seoul, who spoke broken English, encouraged me with emphatic miming motions to finish strongly.   I crossed the 26.2 line alongside women and men from hundreds of different zip codes and backgrounds. 

For 117 years the Boston Marathon has been and will continue to be a celebration of life, happiness, health, community, and international brotherhood.  Monday’s events have only prompted me to run harder, to hug and support my teammates, my friends, and my loved ones more often, and to get back on that starting line.  It has encouraged me to stand proudly at the finish lines and alongside mile markers of the many races that I have gladly positioned myself before, cheering for first time and veteran finishers.  Bostonians, you have the back of your country and the international community in this troubling time. I pray for the victims and their families and my heart goes out to them.  They will be remembered and the raw evilness of this world will hopefully someday be muted.   Based on the love that I witnessed in Monday’s 26.2, I have no doubt that the goodness of humanity will quickly trump the senseless acts of a rogue darkness.  

I love that, despite the terrible end of the day, she still remembers the good she felt during the race.
We all need to remember the good.
It's the only way to keep going. 


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