I'm not sure that I have the right words to explain why yesterday’s events in Boston have made me so upset, but I'm going to try. A non-runner will not fully understand this. They will be upset by what has happened, and I'm certainly not belittling that. They will connect with these people at the most basic human level, with the part of all of us that cries out when another being is hurt. But a non-runner may not know why it is so upsetting that it has happened to these people on this day.
Whenever I've run a marathon, I've had conversations with my non-running friends and have always failed to really make them understand that the 26.2 on the day is the reward. The pay off for all of the other miles that have been run. Hours and hours of running spread over months. Running in the dark. Running in the cold and the wind and the rain and the mud and the snow. Running when you don’t really feel like it. Running when your friends are out at the pub, or tucked up warm in bed on an early Sunday morning in February.
And that few runners do it alone.
Those miles have been supported by friends and family. Those who run with us. Those who wait patiently at home looking after the kids so that we can go out and train. Those who understand that for the hundredth time, we’re not going to be coming to the pub / cinema / drinks party. Because we’re training. So yesterday should have been the payoff. Not just for the runners. But for the friends and family who got to come and support and cheer those runners through the last 26.2 miles of the journey that they have shared together. It should have been a celebration. And someone stole that from them. Not just the people who died or got hurt. But from all of them.
So I’m upset. And quite frankly mad as hell.
I ran a marathon on Sunday in Brighton. I made it safely over the finishing line and got a PB. My sister, brother in law and my two year old niece were there to support me. It was a wonderful day, a celebration.
I saw a quote on twitter earlier that I hope we can live up to. Stay strong, runners.
If you're trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target