Running Scared?

We can put metal detectors inside stadiums.  We can put security guards inside schools.  We can put security screening inside airports.  But we cannot run a marathon without feeling vulnerable.  Not after yesterday.  Not after the carnage, the panic, the awfulness, the violence, the terror, the evil that happened in Boston.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2003…

Race Last Name, First Name
Time OverAll
Sex Place
Div Place
DIV Net Time City, State, Country
Boston Marathon
Swelin, Ashley J. (F23) 3:45:56 6251 1124 / 889 FOpen 3:38:40 Toronto, ON, Canada

It’s been ten years since I high-fived the students cheering at Wellesley College, willed myself up Heartbreak Hill, and cried tears of pride and joy along the finishing stretch on Boylston Street.

I originally wrote today’s blog post last week, and titled it ‘Boston’- I was going to share with you all of the things that running Boston taught me.  Silly things, like how sunburned you can get over the course of 26.2 miles in Boston in April.  Inspiring things, like “you cannot run fast if you do not put in the training.  The same goes for anything in life.  Work hard”.  Special things, like how your parents will do anything for you- even come to Boston and stand five-people-deep for four hours for the chance to watch you cross the finish line. It’s been ten years since my parents stood right where yesterday’s second bomb went off.  

But you know what, fellow runners?  We must unite.  We must be strong.  We must not be scared to go to a movie, or send our kids to school and ourselves to work, or go to Boston and run a marathon. I can’t make sense of this tragedy because it’s senseless.  I can’t explain this tragedy because it’s inexplicable.  I can’t imagine this tragedy because it’s unimaginable.  But when these senseless, inexplicable, unimaginable tragedies happen, we must cope.

And the way most runners cope is to run.  We cope and we run and we run and we cope… and the miles tick by.

I’m going for a run.


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