after i run a race, it is customary for me to write a race report. this year, my boston marathon race report takes on a new meaning. 2013 will always be known as the ‘year of the bombings.’
boston marathon race report.
i really shouldn’t have even ran this race. i only had 9 weeks to go from a 3 mile ‘long’ run to 26.2 miles so I feel like I kind of ‘cheated’ my way in. i like to approach marathons with seriousness and the intention of PRing but i certainly didn’t approach this year’s Boston with that mindset. i questioned the purpose of even running, knowing that i would run somewhere between 50 min and 80 min slower than my PR and not even coming close to qualifying for next year. and it would be a hassle to drive into Boston, ask Chuck to care for our daughter while in the city, and then meet up with them after the race.
but, i love Boston. i love the history, the Wellesley scream tunnel, the bikers cheering at TJ’s parking lot, Heartbreak Hill, the smell of beer on the BC students, the signs that say silly things like ‘if marathons were easy they’d be called your mom’. so i decided to run simply because i like it.
boston is my hometown race. i can visualize nearly every mile of the course and i can recall the sights and smells of each town. i love this race. marathon monday is my christmas day. it makes me happy, it makes me feel part of the bigger running community. i feel closely connected to joanie benoit when i run down boylston and i share k.v. switzer’s battle when i cover the course.
therefore, when i heard the blasts just two blocks away from the finish line i felt personally attacked. i had just met up with my husband and daughter and we looked at each other in disbelief that the blast could be the result of a bomb. we saw cops and EMTs running toward the sound of the blasts and we immediately moved away from the blasts. we were carrying a small child and our first instinct was to protect her from the crowd.
i’ve gone back and forth on what this year’s marathon means. i often think that people who try to wiggle their way into tragedies are disrespectful to the individuals that were personally affected by the tragedy. therefore, i’ve been cautious not to overstate my proximity to the event. on one hand, i went back to work on tuesday without shrapnel in my legs so i wasn’t *really* affected by the bombing. on the other hand, my shoes crossed the finish line that exploded a mere twenty minutes after i touched it. i spent hours worrying about numerous friends that were still on the course until we heard they were ok.
it has been hard for me to process this event. i’ve blamed myself for putting my 10 wk old daughter so close to a bomb because i selfishly wanted to run a stupid race. i’ve also been filled with pride that i was part of the historic race and that i belong to a tight-knit community of determined runners.
the bombings have also robbed many runners from their accomplishment. many marathoners finished their first boston or set a new PR. both of these accomplishments were hard-fought and won, but are overshadowed by the news headlines of the attack. we feel guilty for thinking about the actual ‘running’ of the event because it takes the emphasis away from the victims that lost lives and limb that day.
regardless, i am still proud to have ran boston 2013 for many reasons. i am proud that i was able to complete a marathon just 10 weeks after giving birth. i am proud to say that i have kept my identity as a runner and individual in addition to becoming a devoted mother. above all, i am proud to be a boston marathoner.