Today was such an emotional day and I’m feeling the need to write and not going to worry so much about getting it right.
I spent 6 hours volunteering at the Boston Marathon with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, cheering on their 500+ runners who were running to raise funds for cancer research. We stood at the top of a hill at Mile 17 as the sea of runners swept by — the wheelchairs, elite runners, qualifying runners and charity runners. Most of the DFMC runners wore signs saying who they were running in memory of — many were running for mom or dad, or in one case someone who died 11 days ago. We cheered and hollered and waved pom poms until the last runners were scaling the hill. It was fun and inspiring.
In the midst of all of that, a good friend ran by who I have been coaching. We exchanged hugs, I got her a water and she was on her way toward her first marathon finish.
I got in my car to head home feeling great and minutes later heard about the explosions at the finish. I pulled off the road as the texts started coming by the dozens from folks asking if I was ok, if my friend was ok, and what was going on. I sat in my car and just cried, shaken and disbelieving as the stories started coming in over the radio. When I finally got home and saw the images on the TV, it was even more shocking.
Tonight I am just angry. Angry that people are dead and maimed, especially children. The latest report from Childrens’ Hospital in Boston includes: leg trauma, age 9; femur fracture, age 12; head injury, age 2; head injury, age 14; leg trauma, age 10. Angry for the 6000+ runners who were unable to cross the finish line after running most of the race and spending all winter training. Angry that my friend has to try to explain to her kids why they didn’t get to see their mom cross the finish line at her first marathon. And angry that this day of celebration and accomplishment has been forever changed.
To paraphrase my friend Melissa, marathon finish areas are filled with the happiest, proudest, all-around-best people on the planet. I’m angry that somebody stole that away from Boston today.