Three days later, things aren’t much better. Many of the people that I talk with feel the same way. On the T-Line to the airport, I talk to a woman who wasn’t allowed to finish. She had a hard time trying to put her emotions in words. We all feel guilty talking about our marathon in the context of things. We are angry, confused, selfish, and uneasy. Every time friends ask me about the race, I can’t really go into the details of my personal experience. Since I wasn’t directly at the explosion site, I can’t report on that incident either. Out of respect for the victims and their families, I find myself having a difficult time communicating my own trivial experiences at Boston. But hope begins to filter in. I look for anything positive. I hear about remarkable recovery efforts from some of the survivors. Boston firefighters say that we’ll be back next year. Bostonians are a resilient breed. So are marathoners.
I heard from family, friends, friends-of-friends, co-workers and hometown media. Our local running community networked to ensure every one was safe. Once I’m at home and start the routine again, the people and friends that I generally interact with are extremely caring and comforting. The numbness slowly begins to wear off even though I can’t seem to get away from the news of the Boston Marathon terror. Yesterday, I hear a Fresh Air interview with Amby Burfoot, editor-in-chief of Runners World Magazine and the 1968 Boston Marathon Champion. He has run the event every five years since to commemorate his victory. This year, he was not allowed to finish and came .7 of mile short of completing his marathon. His comment about running being a “gift” hits home and helps put things in perspective.
This morning, I realize that my plan to commemorate my 26 running companions now includes a much larger community. After the 2013 Boston Marathon, I now have 23,336 brave companions to honor along with hundreds of first responders. And I extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to the friends, loved ones, and family of all those killed and injured.