RunOnBoston3Yesterday evening we began an email discussion among all the Salty Running bloggers to try to figure out what to say.  We wanted to talk among ourselves first, to try to figure out what the right thing was.  We learned we are all deeply affected and saddened by the bombing. We learned we are all motivated to show the good that comes from running.

We learned that we felt a lot better after reading what the others had to say.

So instead of releasing some canned statement, we invite you into our discussion.  Where were you when it happened? How did you react? Were all your runners okay? How about anyone else you know who was there?

Here are some of our thoughts, please share some of yours below them.

We’ll start with the only one of us who was there. Clove:

Our room was on the 34th floor of the Westin Copley Plaza.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook know how excited I was about the amazing river view upgrade we got when we checked in.  We had the most tremendous view of Boylston right from our 34th floor room: the final stretch, the finish line, the finish chute.  We had discussed how much fun it would be to hang out after our showers and watch the late finishers from our perch above.

Instead, I was in an elevator bank during the explosion, while DB was simultaneously yanking clothes on after hearing the first explosions.  He didn’t even know where he was going, only that the finish line had just exploded and I wasn’t in the room yet.  When the elevator doors opened to his face, there was this split second where I thought he was meeting me to tell me of his sub-3 triumph – but in that split second, he literally grabbed me out of the elevator, wrapped his arms around me, and started guiding me to the room with the words, “the finish line was bombed about two minutes ago …”

He spoke to me so gently, as if I were a small child and he didn’t know how to explain it.  He would later tell me he was still in shock and trying to make sense of it himself.

My husband and I were safe, and we slowly located our friends and their families. Yes, I had a very personal experience, but these are not the images that stick out.  To me, the image that sticks out is the yellow jackets.

When I first got to the room and ran to the window, the scene below was still immediate chaos.  Runners were literally sprinting through and around the finish area.  It was an absolutely frantic scene, clouded over by bomb smoke and punctuated by sirens.  But the yellow jackets – they stayed.  They didn’t run.  They tore up the finish line as quickly as they could.  They carried runners in their arms and acted as human crutches.  I saw tiny runners collapse into their arms and they stood still and held them.  They tore down fencing and scaffolding to open the area up to allow people to move more quickly.  They were on the ground over broken and injured bodies. They ran back and forth from the medical tent, bringing bags of ice and supplies, pushing empty and full wheelchairs, doing whatever it was that needed to be done.

They, too, had families to call.  They, too, were in a dangerous and unsecured crime scene.  And when they heard the third blast, they STILL stayed.

The enduring image of the Boston Marathon for me will forever be of the very first responders:  the Boston Marathon volunteers, the yellow jackets who stared fear and evil in the eye and vowed that no matter what, they would not run.

To honor them, we must follow their example.  We cannot run.  And for us, that means that we must RUN ON.

We can feel the fear, but we cannot run.

Instead, we must RUN ON.

More thoughts after the jump.


Salty in Boston, 2007

Salty: I woke up from a nap yesterday. I clicked the coffee on and jumped over to the computer to check on my last Boston runners who hadn’t finished when I laid down, but instead I heard the news. The horrible horrible news.

Boston was bombed. Our Boston was attacked. I frantically searched Facebook friends’ pages to make sure they were ok. All my friends are accounted for, thank goodness! But many, 150+, aren’t. An 8 year-old boy waiting for his dad to finish! NO! This isn’t fair. This is wrong, so wrong.

I look over at my little spectators. It could have been them cheering me on as I chase these silly dreams of mine. It could have been any of our loved ones who give of themselves to support this hobby, no this life of ours. I guess that’s what makes me angriest. This was an attack on living and loving.

And the weird thing is, these attacks don’t make me or anyone else want to live or love less. Oh no! Instead, it highlights the zest for life we runners have and how much running enriches our lives and the lives of those we love. Run on!


Pepper: I don’t know what to “share” for some reason this really hit me hard. Perhaps because for the past 8 years this has been a sort of running pilgrimage for me. Perhaps because I know so many there. Perhaps because many friends and families first thought when they heard of the horrific occurrence was to check on me. For whatever reason it hit me hard and I am very saddened that some maniac took what should be a celebration of all that is running and turned it into a horrible tragedy.


Vanilla: I really don’t know what to say either. I have lots of questions and anger. I just keep believing that good prevails over evil and that this bastard or bastards have messed with the wrong crowd.  We are a strong, spirited and kind group of people who won’t be taken down by a coward. My stomach has been upset all day, but my heart warms when I read stories of those who without a flinch, helped in some way.

I am also more determined now to get to Hopkinton next year!!!


Mint: Every year, Marathon Monday is an exciting day for me.  If I am not toeing the line in Hopkinton, I am eagerly glued to my computer screen watching the elite race unfold and cheering for all of my friends who have made it to the world’s most prestigious road race.  When they cross the finish line with a great race, my heart celebrates for them.  When I see their race was a rough one, my heart breaks for them.  The Boston course is hard, and you never know what might unfold after months – if not years – of hard work to get there.  Yesterday was no different and I was like a kid in a candy store all morning.  A few of my friends had amazing races, a few had heartbreak.  But then the news flashed that there were explosions at the finish and I was rocked to my core.  I couldn’t tear myself away from the media coverage.  I e-mailed and texted my friends to try to ensure they were okay.  I checked Facebook constantly watching for friends to check in and tell me they were okay.

Fortunately, all of my friends are safe.  A couple were a little too close to the terrorist attack and are now – quite understandably – traumatized.  While I was not there, I feel shaken, weepy and angry as well.  This was not only an attack on America, but also on our amazing community, who is known for coming together, supporting one another, encouraging one another, and sharing the road for the sake of all of our well-beings.

Mint’s boys in Boston. 2010.

Like many runners, I am choosing to focus on the positives.  On what the Boston Marathon really is.  It is not terrorism.   It is hard work, pride, respect, humility, appreciation, and a great sense of community.  I was saddened that when I told my sons about the attacks and they both told me they were afraid to run in their upcoming 5k races.  I told them we will not allow cowardly, evil individuals ruin our sport, ruin our community.  We will run.  We will run proudly.  We will not be afraid.

My heart goes out to all of those who were in Boston yesterday or affected by this cruel act of terrorism – particularly those who were hurt or lost loved ones.  I can’t help but feel a painful sting when I read about the 8 year old boy who died near the finish line.  Last time I ran Boston, my son was 8.  He, my 7 year-old son, my husband, and my mother-in-law all stood in the same area proudly watching me cross that line.  It is unimaginable to me that yesterday’s race ended the way it did for that family.  I pray for all of them that they can somehow find peace.

But I also feel great pride and appreciation for all of those who stepped up and helped.  I am so grateful and humbled by all of the friends and family members who reached out to me to make sure I was okay and to let me know that they loved me.  Courage and love always prevails over hatred.


Espresso: I have received, literally, hundreds of messages and have been completely overwhelmed today [April 15]. Some have been from people who thought I was in Boston and were worried. Other messages telling me that there was a reason I wasn’t there (which I think is complete hooey). Still others were telling me they were thankful I wasn’t there; and all I kept thinking was My god–I want to be there! I know that’s nuts, but that’s how I felt. based on the timing of the blasts and others who were starting around the same time as me, I would have most certainly been in the finish area at the time of the blast.

Right now I’m still processing stuff. And perhaps I will have something cogent to say tomorrow – but for now, it’s a scrambled mess. So many friends are there. I am not.


Licorice: The first I heard was when my husband and another friend texted me asking if I knew about it. It’s completely surreal to me that something like this could happen, and it makes me sad that what should have been a day of celebration for so many people has been turned into something else.


Cinnamon: I returned to the set of my new job around 3:45 from a lunch of ice cream and espresso with a coworker, and overheard one of the grips say, “No really, there was a bomb at the finish line.”  My heart sank.

img of The Illuminator art via roanzone on

I’d been purposefully waiting until I got home to read any news of the race, but now I snatched my iPhone out of my pocket to start making calls.  Even in New York City the phones were down and I couldn’t get through.  I had the good sense to get on Facebook, where every single runner and spectator I knew was in Boston had posted something. They were all safe. Thank goodness.

After a moment of relief I started wondering, what happens now?  Will people blame us? Will they decry our races as dangerous?  Will they try to enforce ridiculous, 1984-style regulation on us? Will we have to pass through metal detectors to get into the corrals? Be prohibited from bringing our own water?  Will our family members have to pass through security checks to collect our tired and broken bodies when the race is over?  Or worst of all, will people be afraid to run?

I’m heartbroken for the victims and their loved ones, especially those of the deceased, and I’m heartbroken for the running community in Boston, that they have to shoulder the weight of this having happened at their most celebratory event. And I’m ready to be an ambassador of my sport, and continue showing its positive, uplifting power to those who might limit it.


Coriander:  I was at work when I saw a post from a friend who had just gotten his drop bag back when it happened. And after I learned more from customers and friends, selling expensive clothes just seemed so insignificant and I had a hard time getting through the rest of my shift.

Today when I left my apartment for my morning run, my neighbor’s paper was open on her doorstep. Seeing the image on the front page with the bold headline was a shock, it seemed more real and it’s all I could think about during my run. As the sun came up, I’m reminded how life is a gift and I’m so grateful all of us and our loved ones are safe and we can lace up our shoes and run another day.


Sassafras: Sending love to all of you.

This hit me hard, too. I had been following Craig Leon on Twitter (Yay! OU alum in the top 10!), and all of a sudden [the feed] went from his post-race celebratory stuff to a re-tweet about explosions. Unreal.

Thankfully my friends who were running it are all okay. One had finished just minutes before the first explosion, and as she said, so many little things impact your marathon time on any day. Thank goodness she had that little extra speed.

I am not really even sure how I feel about running a marathon on Saturday.


Cilantro: I am so deeply saddened by this tragedy, but amazed again by the solidarity of Americans and runners. Yesterday I was asked by one of my more insensitive friends if I still wanted to qualify for Boston, and the answer is yes! I am more determined to qualify now then I have ever been. To me, it’s even more important that we don’t let terrorists win and run!


Ginkgo: I’m so very thankful to be a part of this beautiful running community of Salty Runners. Reading through your comments restores my faith in humanity and all of the good people out there. It’s just what I needed this morning after feeling sick and sorry yesterday, questioning if I ever even want to bring children into this sick world.

When I heard of the news I kept having flashbacks of my finishes at Boston in 2008, 2009 and 2010, that last mile, with the crowds and the indescribable support and the feeling of extreme accomplishment. All the sweat, tears and hours of training were instantly worth it and having my family at that finish line to hug will always be one of the best, more memorable moments in my life. To think of the runners who were barricaded off at mile 24 yesterday, a mere 2 miles from crossing that line that meant so much, that meant they accomplished the “holy grail” of all marathons, only to find out that a bomb went off in the area where so many of their loved ones were standing and waiting to share in the joy…. I just can’t even imagine the utter fear, horror and feelings of helplessness.

Runners are some of the best, most caring people that I know. To have this happen to such a community is a tragedy. I heard a story about runners who finished the 26.2 and continued to run to the hospital to immediately donate blood to those affected….this, in a nutshell, is what runners are about.

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I had just walked into my hotel room for a business trip in LA when I got a text form my mom telling me what happened in Boston. Everyone in my immediate family is a runner, and we’ve been so lucky to be part of a great running community in Buffalo, and we knew a few people that were running Boston. My brother-in-law’s parents were there. His mother received her medal as one of the bombs went off and luckily her husband had left the spot where it had. Everyone we knew there was ok, and I am so thankful for that. Seeing the footage and hearing the audio from the scene brought me to tears. I’ve been a spectator at other marathons, and know how amazing it is to watch someone cross the finish line after all the training they’ve done. I can’t even imagine what these spectators and runners went through, and my heart goes out to them. I’m so sad that what was supposed to be a beautiful moment for so many people turned into a terrifying one by a person/people full of hate. However, I’m so proud of the running community and everyone who stayed to help those in need at the scene. People told me that some marathoners ran straight through the finish line to the hospital to donate blood, and I’m not surprised. Runners have a spirit that can’t be broken. Every runner I’ve met has put others before themselves. I’m proud to call myself a runner. I send prayers for all those affected by this tragedy. Thank you, Salty Running, for creating a forum for all of us to share our stories on this.

    1. Yes, thank you for sharing your story. We are not alone and I know that it has affected our running community in a very painful way. This is not to say all Americans aren’t impacted, but this hits very close to home to runners. I personally think it is healing to share, to listen and to move forward in a positive way. So thank you.

  2. So glad you are ok….

    All of my close friends were, too. However, my former massage therapist’s family was not. One daughter lost a leg, another has two broken legs and is undergoing multiple surgeries, and her husband was badly burned/lacerated. It breaks my heart. Ironically, she was one of the runners who took the deferral and decided to make it a family affair this year.

    As a blogger, I struggled with what to post. It’s all our stories, and yet, it’s not. So I have a very brief post going up tomorrow.

    I’m so sorry you experienced all this first hand. Tough, horrible stuff.

    1. It was such a struggle to come up with words after this. I am so sorry to hear about your massage therapist’s family. Awful! I will pray for them!

    2. What a hard, horrible experience it must be for them. I can only imagine what her family is going through. I am sorry to hear of their loss. Is there anything that can be done for them? Any fundraising going on?

  3. I was at work and had been watching the times of a friend waiting for her to finish and see her final time. After she finished I went back to work and a little while later checked twitter to see other people’s updates, which is when I first started to see the reports of the bombing. I instantly started texting people I knew who in Boston to make sure they were okay…they were. For the rest of the day I fought back tears at work while I watched the twitter feed and the news on my computer (I didn’t get much work done). When I finally got home to my husband I just broke down in tears. I felt so many emotions yesterday and still today. Fear, sadness, anger, and hope. I still find it overwhelming and hard to understand how others are just going through their day like normal when I still feel so broken. I’m going for a run tonight and hoping to find some solace in that.

  4. This is a beautiful article but oh Miss Zippy, my heart breaks for your friends. I just keep thinking of my little boy and my husband waiting for me at a recent finish line in pretty much the same place as the bomb went off yesterday. And I think of all those other children shouting ‘Come on Mummy’ just like he did. And it breaks my heart.

    I didn’t realise HOW much I identify myself as a runner until yesterday. Because I took it personally. These are my people, my tribe and I stand with them. And I grieve with them.

    1. “I didn’t realise HOW much I identify myself as a runner until yesterday. Because I took it personally. These are my people, my tribe and I stand with them. And I grieve with them.”


  5. I am a runner and have run 1 marathon. I am not like most of you, but yesterday shook me to my core. No just for the runners, but for the families. We all know how much time, energy and emotion training for a marathon takes, but add to that the time, energy and emotion taken from our families as they support our crazy training schedules. That attack was set to hurt those people who gave up just as much as the runners. The most seriously injured were there to cheer on those they love and support as they finish probably one of the most important and climatic races of their lives.

    What really shook me was that just 3 short years ago, my sister made her Boston Marathon a family event. She felt it was important for her children to experience everything the Boston has to offer. Yesterday, some evil, cowardly person or persons chose to turn an event meant to celebrate human strength and endurance and turned it into something vile and terrifying. Not only could my sister have been hurt, her family, my family could have been destroyed. For what???

    Salty, I thank you for this forum to allow me to let my feelings out. I cannot lie, I am so angry!! But, Mint is right! Evil WILL NOT win. Evil WILL NOT prevent me from running or entering more races.

    1. It is so true. Marathon spectators and supporters are runners’ life blood and it is so sad to think they would be targets. Thanks for chiming in and thanks again for your support and for checking in on me yesterday. It means the world to me. Big hugs to you!

    2. THanks so much for sharing this, Beth! Those spectating family and friends could have been any of our family and friends. It’s terrible. And yes, we will continue living and loving and running! No amount of evil can steal our joy and love of life! Run on, sister!

  6. I called off work on Monday to get in my final 20 miler before my May marathon. I thought it was fitting that I could fit in that run on Boston Marathon Monday and what kept me going was thinking of all the wonderful athletes who trained so hard to qualify for one of the most prestigious runs while I was all alone on a country bike trail. Once back home, I immediately started looking up the results from the elite group, and as I was reviewing Shalane and Kara’s times a news alert came across my phone screen. At first I thought I was just exhausted and hallucinating. I wish. After over a day of mixed emotions of shock, anger and sadness, I am more sure of myself as a runner than ever and SO proud of the running community I belong to. If someone wanted to break spirits, it was the worst choice to pick a Marathon. Thank you for the forum, Salty. I’m so glad all of you are ok.

  7. This has hit me so hard. I’ve never run Boston, and thankfully none of my accomplished marathoner friends were running there this year, but this is so personal nonetheless. I’ve been a runner for 20 years. My very best friends are runners. There is no identifier that resonates more with me with than “runner” and the running community is my family. I tried to put into words what I was feeling yesterday…

    To My Runner Family

    If you are a runner, you will understand what I mean when I say “runners are a family”.

    We ARE family.

    We may have never met, but we share a love, a way of life. The great simplicity of finding enjoyment in the simple, fluid, beautiful movement of our bodies unites us in a way that cannot be fully expressed in any language or adequately described to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves.

    Today, my family was torn apart. OUR family. The BEST family. And I cannot find the words to fully describe how incredibly heartbroken I am.

    The horrific events at the Boston Marathon today have left me sick….emotionally, mentally, physically. I didn’t personally know anyone running or spectating today…

    …but I felt like I did.

    Runners are the best people I’ve ever known. I can’t say whether self-less, caring, supportive, courageous, driven, passionate people just naturally gravitate toward running, or if running inspires and nurtures those qualities in all those who choose to join the sport.

    I personally think it’s a little bit of both.

    That heart, that spirit, in all the runners and supporters of runners at Boston today, will carry us through.

    My whole heart is with the running community, including the bystanders, police, medical staff, and BAA officials who all acted so quickly and courageously to help those in need on the scene.

    With love to my running family,


    1. Well said, Sarah! I think the vast majority of us feel that way too. I know I’ll be extra sure to give a wave when I pass another runner after this! THANK YOU!!!

  8. This year I was a volunteer for the 7th time since 2005. My running club is assigned to all the clocks along the course, except for mile 26 & the finish which the BAA mans separately. The first time I volunteered I hadn’t even thought about running a marathon. I was still a fairly new and inexperienced runner and had just run my first half marathon. But there was something about Boston, something about the camaraderie I saw. I wanted a piece of that. The two years I didn’t volunteer – 2010 & 2011 – I ran Boston, having finally qualified in the fall of 2009.

    We live here, we train here. My house is 8 miles from the start line. I’ve run double out & backs on the Newton Hills with friends even though I wasn’t running the race. 364 days of the year, the Boston Marathon route is busy with traffic and irate drivers who are pissed you’re running in the road because snow has taken over the sidewalks. But on that one day, Marathon Monday, you can run down the middle of the road, and the spectators will cheer for you as if you are winning the race.

    On Monday I was volunteering with a friend at mile 2. I chose that location because I’d been there before and remembered how happy all the runners were. Plus, with the early location, it meant we’d be done by noon & could still make it into the city to meet up with friends without having to rush. It’s become tradition for me to go to the city after volunteering (when not running), usually offering a ride to friend(s) who may not have one otherwise. Monday was no exception.

    My volunteer friend and I were done with our duties at noon, grabbed some lunch where we watched replay footage of the winners crossing the line, as well as some live footage. We were excited to be going into the city. The lot I usually park in was full so we had to drive around a while before finally getting to the Boston Common garage. I got a few athlete alerts that the two friends I was picking up finished (3:23 & 3:24 – both “slow” marathons for them – both had been injured recently and unable to train appropriately). We finally found parking at the Boston Common and had to maneuver our way to the family meeting area. With the direct routes blocked by jersey barriers for the marathon, the walk seemed to take forever.

    We finally made our way to our friends at around 2:30pm. We stood around talking for a while about where to get them lunch, then decided the best thing to do would be to leave the city. We had our photo taken there at 2:35pm. We ended up walking about 3 blocks in the wrong direction & had to double-back a bit. During this walk I received another athlete alert from a friend who started in the 1st corral of wave 3. She wanted a 3:55 to requalify, and ran 4:05:41. I was so bummed for her, and wasn’t sure if I should try to call or text her.

    We were around 2-3 blocks from he finish area and noticed suddenly there were a LOT of emergency vehicles trying to make their way through the traffic. Strange vehicles like S.W.A.T. trucks were zooming by. We figured something happened, but had no idea what. When we got to the Boston Common, I decided to check the facebook page of the friend who didn’t requalify to see if she had posted anything, and there I saw she’d written “Two Explosions at the finish line – I hope everyone is ok” (she was still in the finishers area, back near where the buses with the drop bags are).

    Suddenly facebook newsfeeds were filled with posts about the explosions, but there were no details. We got to the car, and made our way out of the city, listening to the radio, as the reality of what had happened hit us. We were all getting texts wondering if we were ok, but then the cell lines were jammed and we couldn’t use them. Finally when we got back to the Framingham area, I was able to call my husband & let him know we were ok.

    Our club planned a volunteer & runner party that evening, but the party turned into a command center. We had 30 people running, and as president of the club, I needed to know that they & their families were all ok. We made a list of our runners, started checking facebook pages for posts, our club forum, and then I sent out email to our club list to have people contact me. As runners arrived at the ‘party’, the round of hugs & tears started all over again. Phone calls came in, and we were able to check off more names. I couldn’t help but think about my friend who had finished just under 5 minutes before the blasts, what if … what if she was in corral 2 or 3 and not 1. She might have been right there. It wasn’t until yesterday morning at 9am that all our runners were accounted for, and then I was able to breathe a little bit again.

    I went for a run yesterday and stopped at 1/2 mile where there are some horses. I stood and I cried. It was a gorgeous, sunny day – a day those who ran the race should be basking in their accomplishment. I got going again and made my way to my in-laws house where I stopped again and chatted with them. Onward again, running, I got angry. Even though I do not personally know anyone affected (that I am aware of), I still feel like my family was violated. This is my city. This is my race. This is my sport. My life changed forever when I became a runner in 2001, when I ran my first marathon in 2005, and when I ran my first Boston in 2010.

    When I got back home, I sat on my back step, and I cried heavy tears. Boston will recover, and most of us will get back to ‘life as normal’, but we will also never be the same. I am heartbroken for the loss of life and all those impacted. But I will keep running, and I will keep racing. I have to, it’s part of who I am.

    1. Jen, I am so glad you posted and I am so glad all of your friends are okay. I always think of you when I think of the Boston Marathon as I know you have been so involved in it and the community for so long. I shared some tears while reading this and send you lots of virtual hugs. Which reminds me of another thing I love about the Boston Marathon: it is a time for runners to come together, have meet-ups, etc. Sure, people do that at many marathons, but at Boston, it seems mandatory to meet up with running friends we may only know through our computer screens for lunch, beer, whatever. It is such a wonderful, fun and community thing that we share and I am so glad I was able to meet up with you last time I was there. Hopefully next time too. 2014? 🙂

    2. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jen, and for your hard work as a volunteer and helping your running club sort things out afterward. I’m so sorry that your city and running community have to bear the heavy weight of this terrible event.

  9. Wow, Jen! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. I cried last night while holding the baby and watching the news. They were talking about the children still in the hospital and one little boy was there with head trauma, but was doing remarkably well as evidenced by his voracious appetite for chocolate chip pancakes. I don’t know why, but that’s what brought me to tears, out of nowhere. I wasn’t even there! But I’ve been in a daze for two days and an emotional mess. But it will get better. Day by day, step by step, it will get better.

  10. I have been waiting patiently for a post regarding the tragedy. Salty Running is my emotional compass for running. When my father was killed while out for a run last year you ladies counseled me and told me what I needed to hear, that running is still ok. I needed that reassurance again after what happened in Boston. I am very thankful you have addressed it and offered your personal experiences – it makes a difference to people like me.

    When I saw the news about Boston I was shocked and scared and unsure again. My heart told me running is still good but my mind panicked (I am ashamed to admit) and I wondered again if running was still “ok”. The collective vibe I get from most runners is, F-U Terrorism, we will run anyway! Even though many of us paused when this happened, they can not take away the joy and release of running.

    I guess all I really wanted to say was thank you for letting us know how this affected you ladies. It makes the rest of feel more secure in our own reactions. I have a 1/2 marathon set for May 4th in Columbus and I will be running. I’ll run for my dad and I will run to show the bad people they can’t scare us out of running.

    Thought to all of those affected by the tragedy.

    1. E – I am so glad you find Salty Running to be comforting. And I am so sorry the Boston tragedy evoked such difficult feelings for you. You are not the only one who panicked. I am sure we all did. Even this morning I was thinking about my upcoming race which ends in a college football field. My family will be waiting there for me to finish. Is it safe? Could something terrible easily happen there? I panicked. And I had to purposefully silence that voice, that fear. We cannot allow them to make us live in fear. But it is natural I think to have those feelings. Big hugs to you and best of luck on May 4th. You’ll make your dad proud, I know.

    2. THANK YOU for sharing this E! After all you’ve been through there’s NOTHING to be ashamed of for feeling scared. I am so glad you’re soldiering on. I am honored to hear that we’ve helped you and I am so happy to hear you’re racing on May 4th!

  11. Thank you for providing this forum for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings on this tragedy. My heart breaks a little more every time that I learn more about Boston. My prayers are with those we lost and those whose lives will never be the same.

    I have found this tragedy so hard to process because running has always been an untouchable and safe area of my life. It is that escape and therapy that I think so many of us rely on. Whenever I’m going through something tough in my life, a good run always fixes it.

    I’ve both run and spectated at marathons, and they are truly magical. I will never forget the feeling I had when I finished my first marathon – the crowd support was amazing, and it just made me feel like all was right with the world. Marathons do bring out the best in people.

    Even though we saw an evil, gruesome, senseless act of violence in Boston, we also saw tremendous displays of courage and love. Good will overcome evil. During my run yesterday, I really focused on the simple fact that I was fortunate enough to be running – something we all take for granted from time to time.

    Continued thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I agree that this is so hard because running is our escape and our happy place. It is hard to convey to a non-runner. I just don’t have the right words. That said, at lunch, it was pouring rain and cold. I grabbed my umbrella and Boston jacket and quickly headed out to grab lunch. I passed a guy who simply said quietly as we passed, “nice jacket.” Thank you I quietly muttered back. He got it and I felt so thankful. Sometimes you really don’t need many words.

  12. This was my first Boston and I can’t even begin to explain the experience. The range of emotions from the race alone was incredible but for it to all end the way it did and to be right there in the midst of it all is unreal.
    I had finished about 20 minutes prior to the bombs going off. I was in the family meeting area still trying to find my husband and daughter when we heard the booms and the ground shake. Then it was just costant sirens. I was able to find my husband and daughter shortly after – she had been crying as the noise was really loud – some people has said maybe it was fireworks from the baseball game but it was much too loud for that. We decided to go with that explanation as far as my daughter was concerened though. At this time we still had no idea what was really going on and were just trying to celebrate the marathon accomplishment – I was still on such a high. Then my husband’s phone started blowing up and I was like how do people from home know something is going on – having no idea this was already national news. We knew something had happened and just decided to get out of the city. It took some time to get out and it was very eerie to see everyone walking around, looking down at their phones. The sirens just kept multiplying and we saw people running, still not knowing what was happening. Even 20 minutes outside of Boston there were still police cars and fire trucks speeding towards the city on the other side of the highway. I sat in the car staring at the live updates coming through on my phone and just crying.
    It wasn’t until we got to our friends house in Hartford that we found out the extent of what had happened and actually saw the video and pictures – it was surreal.
    The spirit of the Boston marathon is something that can only be experienced. It was such an exhilerating experience, the spectators, volunteers, and other runners are just absolutley amazing. What inspires me even more is those that jumped in to help, wether it was helping the injured or just people wandering the streets trying to figure out where to go. As I follow all the media and the personal stories that continue to come out, of people helping people – that is what I am going to try and remember about this day.
    I was running with an injury so wasn’t expecting a great time from the start, I had decided I was just going to enjoy this experience and take it all in. I did just that and I’m glad. Although there was a tragic ending to this story and I can’t imagine the grief and pain those most effected by it are feeling, I am going to remember the positive spirit I felt the whole 26.2 miles of all the people around me.
    Thank you for this outlet to let out some of the feelings to other runners that can understand.