I will never get to run the Boston Marathon. I know it is hard to believe, but alas, this linebacker of a runner never going to hit the times necessary to tackle Heartbreak Hill. Most runners will never run Boston, we are the masses of 10K and half marathon runners that plod along, excited to break 10 minutes a mile during the 4th mile of our 10k.
Still, I know Boston. All runners know Boston. Every race that I, and many others have run is Boston, the same triumphs, the same disappointments. I have run Boston, we all have run Boston. The time that I somehow managed to run my first half marathon without walking, that was Boston to me. The time that I cried while trudging up a 200ft incline over just .1 of mile 8 during a half marathon last year, that was Boston to me. The time I ran with a friend during his first half, after he recovered from a broken hip, ribs and leg, that was Boston to me. The faces, both of anguish and jubilation that you see in the paper following every Boston Marathon, are the same faces I have worn, and seen during my time running.
I say this not to minimize the accomplishment of qualifying for the Boston Marathon or the tragedy today, but to say that I feel the anguish and pain of the running community tonight. I feel it because although I was not there today, I have been there many times before. To have the amazing glory that is a race finish sullied in such a way is inconceivable. This is the moment of triumph and pain, sometimes all rolled together, and it was stolen from those people today. They deserve better.
This is the Facebook post I wrote just after I heard the news: