I've been running marathons since 2005. And I remember participating in the horribly hot Chicago Marathon in 2007 when the volunteers ran out of water at the first water station by the time the 11-minute milers (aka me) got there. I saw people drinking out of bird baths and public fountains. Collapsing on the side of the street in exhaustion. Crying in pain and thirst. Detouring into McDonald's begging for water. I thought that was the worst thing that could possibly happen at a marathon.
I've been glued to the TV since shortly after 2 p.m., watching the aftermath of the explosion at the Boston Marathon.
I'm horrified. And sad. And riveted. And, I have to admit, a little scared.
Shortly after my initial shock wore off, the thought did cross my mind: This could happen in Chicago.
I can hear my mother now saying, "You're not planning on running the marathon this year, are you? I mean, first you're recovering from a broken foot, and now this?"
Well, all I have to say is: Yes. I am. And I'm more determined than ever to do so.
I hate bullies. And that's what a terrorist is. I never have and never will let fear of a bully stop me from living. And, I'm incredibly sad that such a celebration of life and athleticism had to end like this.
While we don't know if this was internal or external terrorism, it was definitely a terrorist act meant to strike fear. Meant to make us second guess. Meant to make us worry.
Well, I'm not afraid. And I won't second guess. But I do worry about all those who were running the Boston Marathon today. I worry about the spectators and first responders. I worry about the family of those who were killed.
And I'm saying a prayer. For the injured and the killed. For the doctors and the police. For the volunteers and the runners.
I may not be in the military. And I'm definitely not a cop. But I can and will stand up to bullies every day, every time. The best and easiest way we can all do that? Live.
So, I'll see you at the 2013 Chicago Marathon with my tutu and my wand (and hopefully a PR). But, Boston, I'll be thinking of you.
Some news coverage & links that might be useful:
- Looking for a runner? Check out the Google person finder
- Tweets from within 1 mile of the bomb site
- A Vine of the explosion being circulated in social media
- CNN coverage of the explosion
- Photos and tweets from the scene