Yesterday our sport was attacked. Something sacred that we, as runners, hold dear to our hearts was marred by a senseless act of violence. The Boston Marathon, our epitome of strength and commitment, a holy grail that many seek with dogged and often exhausting abandon, became a platform for terrorism.
We watched in horror and disbelief as our fellow runners, friends, family, loved ones and kindred spirits emerged from clouds of smoke stunned, bruised and battered. We saw the finish line, a place of joy and achievement, transform into a crime scene. The vibrancy and happiness of the day drained away and blood stained. All for the sake of sending a worthless, yet-to-be-determined message. Our hearts ached for those lost and injured. Our stomachs turned at the thought that this could happen to any of us, at any road race, in any city.
To those responsible for the attack, your act of violence sent shockwaves through our community. You wounded us and everyone who knows, loves, admires or respects a runner. You gained the exposure you so desperately and cruelly sought. However, you did not and will not succeed in breaking our spirit, in diminishing our commitment to our sport, or shaking our unfailing resolve.
We are runners. We endure. We triumph over seemingly insurmountable physical and mental challenges. We are strong, stubborn and unflappable – even in the worst of circumstances. Adversity and heartbreak are nothing new to us. We test the limits of our minds and bodies daily and are made stronger by the pain.
This tragedy will change us, but not in the way the cowardly attackers intended. It will unite us, make us stronger, more determined, and weave thicker the bonds of our running community.
We will not be detoured by yesterday’s events. We will continue to do what we love. We will wake up before the sun rises to train. We will run races, volunteer at water stations, and ring cowbells to spur on friends and family. We will be fearless. We will run inspired. And we will return to Boston.
Because we are runners.