Well. What can I say that has not been so eloquently said over the last few days.
The running community has really risen up united over this. We are angry at these terrorists that turned what is a historically celebratory day into a nightmare. I myself am angry and having a hard time understanding this. I love running, I love runners. How could anyone want to do anything but encourage them?
In that anger, people have done some really unusual things, in my opinion.
Firstly let me be clear about my opinion. I might state things as facts but this is really JUST my OPINION.
These bombs were placed to spread terror at a PUBLIC event. The marathon was chosen for several reasons. Security at these events has not usually needed to be tight. It’s not a political rally, it is a footrace. The Boston Marathon draws an international focus in for the one day. Many many people were expected to be out.
In my opinion this was not an attack on RUNNING, or runners. It really was an attack designed to spread fear among people.
So what do we in the running community start doing?
RUNNING. makes sense. It is after all what we do.
People starting printing up runners T shirts, and printing off bibs to run with and dedicating all their miles to Boston runners.
I’ve run quite a few miles since the news broke about Boston. On many of my runs, the event has bubbled up to my mind’s focus. Did I dedicate any of them to Boston? Nope. They were already planned. Will I be putting some sort of black ribbon etc on my shirt at next weekend’s race in Toledo. Probably. I will want to acknowledge there that I am aware and am sorrowing over the events of the week.
Aside from people knowing that the running community was standing with Boston, well, I don’t really see how any of that hoopla helped anyone except the runners themselves- who felt all very proud to be “doing something”
What do we really want? Safety in our country so that people can RUN (or crochet, or cook dinner, or teach their kids to ride a bike) anywhere anytime they feel like it without this fear.
Is making a bunch of signs going to help with this? No I really do not think so.
Will it make US as runners feel a bit better, well…yes, yes it will, and we as a nation need to heal.
I actually think there is nothing wrong with running for Boston, but I really would like to encourage people to move past that. We already run, we will keep running, but what is it we can DO that will actually have a positive impact. Some friends of mine in California chose to donate blood. A few have signed up to mentor Girls on the run Groups. There are really some great actions coming out of this…and a whole lot of people who are running….their regular runs but calling them tribute runs. Run a tribute if need be, it will heal your soul. But look out beyond your run, because hitting the pavement is not going to address this terrorism monster. Sure, we could let the government address it…but we need to address it on a ground level with our actions reaching out to people, rather than just sort of muddling through with a run, which most of us would be doing anyway…
My thoughts on this are not entirely formed yet, and I don’t wish to criticize anyone who “tribute ran” I just feel like we all need to step out of ourselves a bit and move towards positive actions that are indeed selfless… I guess we can continue to print “Boston Bibs” and run around our neighborhoods and say we did something…