I'm deeply saddened by the events that occurred yesterday afternoon during the Boston Marathon. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. I'm sad for our city, our traditions, and the innocence of our children. True, we'll stand together and recover. The streets will be cleaned and storefronts replaced but it really won't ever be the same.
Explaining the Boston Marathon and what it means to the city and the running community is not an easy task. It's like explaining childbirth to someone who has never had the experience. Boston's a tough marathon to run. You need to qualify (and those times are fast) or you need to raise money for a charity. This isn't a marathon you sign up for at the last minute. It's a huge event for the city. If you don't personally know of anyone running it, you know of a friend of a friend who is.
Rich and I are both long time runners. I've never run a marathon but Rich has completed several, including Boston, twice. Yesterday was Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts which means that many had the day off from work. I did not and neither did Rich. A few weeks ago, Rich began working as a consultant for a company located in the Back Bay (a few blocks from the marathon's finish). This isn't a permanent position, only one that will last for a few months until the assignment is complete. But work is work! I was rooting for American runners Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher so I checked the internet for updates during the first part of the marathon. I was also silently cheering on NKOTB member Joey McIntyre, who was running his first marathon after raising funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Rich had told me that morning that he was probably going to walk over to the finish line to check out the marathon at some point. We emailed back and forth throughout the day but he never mentioned having watched any part of the marathon. I emailed him after Joey finished with a time of 3:57 but then I became completely engulfed in work. We were trying to get onto the website for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Revenue but it was down. Shortly after 3:00, I clicked onto Yahoo to use it as a search engine for the PA DOR and saw the update that there had been explosions at the finish line. It all spiraled from there. Sirens kept passing by heading over to the finish line. I called Rich at work and there was no answer. I left a voicemail. I waited. I sent an email. I sent a text. I kept telling myself that he was probably just in a meeting but I still felt like throwing up. I looked at my inbox and the last email I had from him was at 2:00. I couldn't focus. Were there later emails that I had deleted? I started calling his work number every 5 minutes. He finally answered at 3:40, just as he was returning to his desk from a meeting. They'd heard the explosions but thought that it was something on the Turnpike, which is very close to his office.
My panic, compared to what others experienced, was just a tiny fraction. I can't even begin to imagine...
Again, my heart goes out to all the victims and their families. Donations can be made here.