Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Tribute to the Boston Marathon

Monday was a day that brought such a wide spectrum of emotion for runners, for spectators, and people all over the world closely watching the event. The oldest marathon in history brings the running community together every year in April in celebration of the fact that humans are capable of doing some pretty awesome things with their bodies. Displaying the ultimate act of endurance is something that is just as much mental as it is physical and is a true testament to a beautiful thing we call the human spirit.

For me the race was a statement. Proving to myself that all things are possible. That I am capable of anything and everything. That the fears I have held onto for so long were about to be erased from my heart as I took each stride to the finish. I knew that as I ran that race I would be surrounded by 20,000 other people that were making similar proclamations, and I wanted to feel the courage worn so boldly by all who showed up to the starting line that day. You look around as people are finding their corrals, shaking out their muscles, and making sure their bibs are fastened tight, and you feel that courage wrap around you. It makes you feel powerful and capable and strong. And at that point, it's not about competition but instead camaraderie and we all run that race as conquerors of our fears.This is why I love racing. We all become conquerors.

As I approached the start, started my stopwatch, and switched from anxious walk to a slow jog, I was overcome with the feeling of pure joy. This is real, I am doing this, I am here, and its happening right now. I was surrounded by thousands of amazing people who all put in endless hours of hard work, overcame injuries, setbacks and lots of blisters to be here and lay it all down on the pavement ahead of them.

I feel so lucky to have crossed the finish line 20 minutes prior to the horrendous bombings. I feel like I have been living in a state of disbelief for the past few days. I was there, I COULD have been there when the explosions took place. I see the footage on the news and my heart drops and I immediately become engrossed in a state of shock and horror and great sadness for the ones that weren't so lucky. Everyone gathered at the finish line that day was there to cheer, to encourage, and to celebrate the triumph of running 26.2 miles on that beautiful spring afternoon. The euphoria that should come after crossing the finish line in Copley Plaza was taken from so many courageous runners that day. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible event. My prayers will continue to be with the victims and their families, and I know many of yours are too.

To my friends who came to cheer me on: Thank you so much for your support and your signs! I cannot tell you how great it was to see your smiling faces on that last stretch where my legs felt completely dead.

To my roommate Beth: who is selfless and caring and who without I'd probably still be stranded in the city when public transportation shut down.

To Brandon: who jumped in the last two miles to run with me, who encouraged me to keep going strong, and who always believes in me.

To my friends and family who from I received a huge out-pour of love and thoughts and prayers and texts and calls throughout these past couple days. I can't tell you how much that meant to me.

To the 20,000+ 2013 Boston Marathon Runners and spectators: You are the purest form of human awesomeness and I was honored to run next to each and every one of you. I am inspired by your stories and blown away by the encouragement you so graciously gave away. I know this will not stop you from running but instead give you a reason to push harder. Keep running Boston, keep pushing.

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