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Tuesday 23 April 2013

Boston Marathon

I logged onto Twitter last night for a catch up with my running friends.My timeline unfolded and it was full of the same thing.

Piecing it together I learned that 2 large explosions had happened at the finish line of the marathon and among the dead was an 8 year old boy waiting to cheer his Daddy over the finish line.

The bombs weren’t set off to catch the elites or the professional runners, it was timed to kill and maim the ordinary runners and their families. Our friends. The charity runners, the ordinary people who had trained long and hard to get to the marathon and to raise money on the way. Aimed at us.

As Jen J said, it felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. These were runners and their families. Ordinary runners. People who ran because they loved it, or who didn’t but ran despite that. To complete a hard task. And someone had taken their achievement away in the worst possible way and killed and maimed them.

Running is joyous, it often hurts, sometimes we don’t want to do it ... but do it anyway. We strive for bigger and better goals, targets, for PBs. And along the way we form, running groups and running friends to share the love of running with. Someone had aimed right at the middle of our community, at one of the most prestigious marathons and deliberately set out to hurt people.

I’m equally angry, upset and sad.  I have no words. I can’t write down what I want to say.

But sometimes it takes something dreadful to happen to realise our strength.

The Telegraph published an article on the Boston Marathon heroes: Kindness and humanity amid the carnage’ and described how the community had come together. Apparently so many of the runners continued to run across the finishing line and onwards to the Massachusetts General Hospital, in a rush to give blood, that they had to be turned away.

People opened their homes, a Google document was set up with offers of help such as “we have 2 double beds set up ...”, “we have a couch and a futon, can host 2-3 people...”. The stories of support, of love, of people trying to help ...

This is what I love about the running community. We pull together. We probably run too much, we overshare – especially with tales of nervous running tummies and photos of hard-won blisters -, sometimes we are focused too much on our PBs ... but when it matters we all pull together.

Love you guys.

(Post written Tuesday 16th April)


  1. The best comment Ive seen about Boston, which applies to all tragedy, is Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”"

    At Boston there was tragedy, there was incredible sadness for runners and spectators, for people who had dreamed and trained a lifetime for that day.

    But there were also an amazing number of helpers.

    Well done again for an amazing performance in Paris. x

    1. Thanks Scallywag. That's a really great quote. x