This was going to be my post about the hour run win over the weekend , but I've backburnered it for now. I'm still digesting the horrific events that took place in Boston on Monday. I actually got home earlier than usual from work and immediately tuned into coverage online. Joshua Holmes from Run it Fast probably had some of the best live reports online and I was following his posts and the livestream online. When he posted about the bombings I was dumbfounded and could not believe it. I did not want to believe this was happening. I opened up CNN and understood this was not a mistaken report. I watched the very disturbing livestream TV until after 3AM and waited up to hear from everyone I knew was running to make sure they were ok.
I have not done Boston since 2000, but lately, have been wanting to get back and do it. Qualifying is the easy part, but ponying up the few thousand extra bucks for the trip is not. I am sad now when Boston comes around because I associate one of my fondest memories of the marathon with my dear friend Kim who suddenly passed in May two years ago. I loved her dearly and miss her much as she was one of my closest friends since my college days. http://runnerchicky-runnerchick.blogspot.ru/2011/05/day-raven-just-couldnt-fly.html I would really like to get back to Boston and run it for her. I still have my medals around here and whenever I see them I think of her. So, the news of the bombings only compounded the sadness I was already feeling to begin with.
The specter of terrorism is something I have had to live with since I was a college student. I was studying in Krasnodar, Russsia in 94-95 right at the start of the first Chechen war. Our university did get bomb threats and I remember the university being evacuated four times in the course of a month. Security at the school I was teaching English at a couple times a week was stepped up, but all you could do was just go about your business and daily life. I remember my mother being very upset by all this since of course it was all on CNN back in the States. I just told her we are all just going about our lives here and worrying will not change anything. I now live in Moscow and just a couple weeks ago on my way home in the evening while transferring stations in the metro, I was reminded of the horrific suicide bombing exactly three years ago as flowers were placed on the site of the blast in the station. I pass through this station daily and actually transfer there at least 4 days a week. I remember the morning it happened. I was lucky that day I guess, I did not have a morning lesson. Taking the subway is something I have to do to get from point A to B every day, but I was uneasy for the next several days after the bombings and understandably so.
I also remember 9-11. I was in a hurry that day and did not catch the news before I left for work. I was still teaching high school in Fairbanks, Alaska. I got to school and one of my students asked me to turn on the classroom TV to CNN that 2 planes had just hit the Twin Towers. Now, this kid was kind of a jokester and a funny guy and I thought maybe he was kidding. He was not and we like most of the school were tuned in most of the rest of the day. Now being I was in Alaska , we relied on air travel more than just about any other state. We needed it not only to get in and out but to get supplies into the Bush. I had to fly to Anchorage a week later. Did I want to? No, but I had to and, yes, not flying would just be doing what these bastards wanted us to do.
Boston was different. 9-11 was an attack on economic symbols as the attack on the Pentagon was aimed at the military structure. It takes one sick SOB to plan a calculated attack on a marathon. Seriously, attack a marathon? This one hit way too close to home. So many innocent people were senselessly injured or killed. The matter of the fact is there is little that can be done to control a 26.2 mile course. Marathons are an open event and anyone can come and watch. The crowd support along the course in Boston is amazing. The kids love it when you high 5 them and they line up offering orange slices and bananas. This is in addition to the regular volunteers. I remember lots of kids out there watching us. It was really awesome. Large events in stadiums are also not 100% foolproof but can be controlled to an extent by security screening. I do not know, but the reports of runners (and spectators) losing limbs after finishing a marathon affected me more than the real threat in my own backyard that is Moscow and the evil radicals from separatist regions. I think it was because running and competing and sometimes in big events is who I am and what I do. All I can say is that Hell is a place too good for the evil bastards who do these things. I seriously hope that they do find who did this after sifting through all the footage.
The next day, I went out and did my usual 20k easy run, but I was just so damn saddened and disturbed by all of this. I prayed for those who suffered and was thankful just to have two legs to run. I have done close to 60 marathons over my career many in larger cities.Madison, Seattle, Anchorage, Chicago, Boston, Riga, Moscow, and it disgusts, saddens, and disturbs me to think some sick SOB could deliberately harm so many innocent people.