Like so many other people in this world, I am stunned by what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday. If you know me, you know that Boston is one of my dreams -- this is a race that I would love to complete one day but because entry to the race depends on a qualifying time, I just haven't made it yet. But I hope to someday. Boston is the Big Daddy of all American marathons -- this is the oldest and the most prestigious It's something -- at least in my opinion -- to say that you have run the Boston Marathon.
Though a majority of the runners had completed Boston before the bombs exploded (about 17,000), there were still roughly 5,000 people out there on the course. It's hard not to put yourself in a situation like this and I know that if I had been running Boston, I would have been in this last group (the time on the final counter shows about 4:09, just about my fastest marathon time when I have been training hard). I can't imagine the anguish of being out there on the course and being told that bombs had gone off and not being able to connect with loved ones waiting at the finish line. I have to imagine that most of the spectators injured and killed were waiting for folks in this last group, supporting them as they came one-by-one across the much anticipated finish line after 26.2 miles. When I ran the Rotterdam Marathon back in 2008, I was stopped at about mile 18 by military police who said the race had been halted/ cancelled due to overwhelming groups of people passing out because of the heat. Though there was a minute of confusion because of a language barrier (and shock at the rifles that the police had been carrying), I never for one minute didn't think that Jim was waiting for me at the finish line. As much as this sounds like a cliche, my heart just breaks for those runners (especially) who were still out on the course. The confusion must have been unbearable. And the pain of finding out that your loved one was injured or killed .... I just can't go there.
I stumbled on some pictures that were pretty graphic earlier today as I roamed the internet trying to make sense of what happened yesterday (Who was behind this? Why would someone do something like this?). Unfortunately, I saw some photos that made it very clear that what happened when those bombs exploded was more terrible than words can ever express. Besides the grief stricken looks of the folks trying to make sense of what happened, I also saw people with missing limbs and that look on a face that tells you that the person is dead. I have a hard time trying to wrap my head around something like that.
I will continue to dream about racing in Boston much like I will continue to pursue other dreams in my life -- relaxing in Europe with my husband and a bottle of good wine, doing a Half Iron Man, being the best teacher possible, being more comfortable with my body. But I recognize that there are bad people out there who interrupt people's dreams. We can't let them win. We just can't. So keep dreaming.