Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Boston Marathon bombings and what they mean to an Australian

Yesterday was a day like any other. I got up, went to work, and happily read the latest edition of Runner's World on the train, thinking about all the plans I have and what I want to achieve this year running-wise.

I got to work, turned on the computer, and when I loaded up my usual programs (Hotmail, Facebook and Twitter), my heart sank. Two bombings had happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A couple of people dead, multitudes injured. Images of runners and spectators with their legs ripped open, blood gushing everywhere.

How could this happen?

I normally check my phone first thing in the morning, but since I lost my phone on the weekend it's been a little difficult. Finding out all this had happened that morning and I didn't know, for some reason made it even worse.Coming to work and finding this out, whilst I'd been happily unaware of it all on the tram reading about running seemed wrong.

What really struck me though, is the fact that it was the Boston Marathon. I'll never run in it. Hell, I'll probably never go to Boston. I haven't even run a marathon yet. But being part of the running community, and following blogs like I Thought They Said Rum where Scott tried to qualify for Boston (or BQ as it's called), made me realise just how hard it is to get there, and how it's the holy grail of marathon running.

It made me realise that the people who were there had worked so Goddamned hard to get there, and for many of them, that dream is over. Whether it be the three who died, or the ones who got their legs torn off, or even the people who are uninjured but continue to wonder "What if?" every time they lace their running shoes up.

To me, that is the tragedy of what happened at Boston. People whose passion was running now tainted. The very thing that game them release from any stress, joy on a good good day, may now be the source of that stress. If running is your form of release and celebration, what do you do when the act of running becomes that source of stress and anxiety?

People have been posting on Facebook things like this:

And it is true. So much horror happens around the world on a daily basis that we become immune to it. For our own sanity we try to put it aside and try not to think about it otherwise the immensity of it will render us curled up in rocking back and forth in the feotal position. So when something happens that does resonate with us, that's when we are shocked. 

I'm saddened by Boston because it's my community. My people. My sport. My passion. I know what it's like to train for something big, and to be on the course and looking forward to crossing that finishing line. 
Maybe it's wrong that I'm more saddened by the Boston Marathon bombings that any of the deaths mentioned above. And so be it. 

Today, I am thinking about those in my running community. 

via Run the Edge on Facebook

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