Yeah so, I’m all conflicted and shit.
I ran a race on Saturday. It wasn’t a big race, just 3000 people or so. And since I was running in a relay that began half an hour after the full marathon, I ran pretty much in solitude for the majority of the race. It was kind of an unrace (except for that baton pass, that was pretty fantastic).
Last week, our race organizers posted a lot of messages on Facebook about the Boston tragedy, not only offering solace to those affected (our race director Todd Oliver was there), but also offering information about security measures and police presence and such. They also scrambled to make sure runners had a blue and yellow ribbon to wear.
On top of all that, torrential rain and flooding forced race directors to re-route and re-certify the course the night before the race. I wouldn’t have cared if the course weren’t certified, but there were a lot of BQ hopefuls in the field and I’m sure they appreciated the effort.
And we observed a moment of silence before the start.
I didn’t feel like writing about any of these things yesterday because I have a really hard time being serious, or what I think of as sappy on the blog. I decided as I wrote my race report that I wasn’t going to make it some kind of vapid, saccharine pseudo-tribute to Boston, and I vowed not to say anything ridiculous like it’s mah runnin’ and you can’t take mah runnin’ away from me! I didn’t want to make a mess of writing about such a solemn occasion, even though it was pretty much the only thing on my mind.
But I’ll go ahead and make a mess of it now: yeah, it was a really solemn occasion. We know the attack on Boston wasn’t ABOUT running, but I think all runners felt the same kind of anguish when we saw those spectators and runners at the finish line on Boylston. And how can you not think about that as you’re lining up at a race not even a week later? I almost cried during the national anthem (except I don’t cry tears, I cry barley wine) and I wanted to hug and kiss all my teammates (I said I WANTED to, okay?). I was grateful to be there and I was grateful our race organization went to such lengths to make the event safe and enjoyable for us, and I wanted you guys to know that.
See, this is why I don’t write stuff like this. Crawling back into my bottle now.