Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 Boston Marathon - My Thoughts

I was so excited to write my first blog about one of my favorite days, Marathon Monday.  Marathon Monday (the day of the Boston Marathon) has been one of my favorite holidays since moving to Boston.  The entire city opens its doors and takes to the streets for a massive celebration, cheering on over 35,000 people as they run 26.2 miles.  The entire city is into it.

Last year, the temperature was dangerously high (90+) for most of the race.  This year, things were perfect - 54 degrees, clear skies, and a slight breeze - 'easy' running.  I had to work this year, but was able to do so from home since my office is right on the route.  You do NOT want to go into Coolidge Corner if you don't have to while the Marathon is going on!  If I hadn't had to work, we would have gone into the city and camped out at the finish line, as we've done in the past, to cheer on the runners and soak in some inspiration.  This year, we walked down the street and spent an hour cheering at the Newton Firehouse.

The Boston Marathon is hope.  It's extreme...and it's exhausting. It's an entire city coming together to support athletes who have spent the last 6 months living and breathing running so they can cross the world's oldest finish line.  It's active military personnel completing the race with 50 pound packs on their backs.  It's Dick and Rick Hoyt, a loving father who has pushed his son (who has cerebral palsy) in more than 30 races.  It's the millions of dollars raised by every-day people running the race for their favorite cause.

Up until 2:50pm, that's all today was about.  That's why the explosions at the finish line are so heart breaking.  As I'm writing this (Monday night), the news is reporting 3 people have died (including an 8 year old boy) and more than 130 people were injured.  I hate watching these numbers rise, as they've done all day.  

It's unnerving to see something like this happen where we spent so much time the first few years we lived here.  I used to work right around the corner.  We spent several 'Marathon Mondays' right where the explosions happened...they were great seats!

Amidst all the pain and trauma of today, three things stand out:

1 - My God is bigger than a bomb.
2 - We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from friends and family who know we call Boston home right now.  All the sweet phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages meant a lot.
3 - When a disaster strikes, people help others.  

The Boston Marathon is still all of the things I mentioned earlier.  Now, it's also the race volunteers that ran toward the explosion to help those who were hurt.  It's the runners who crossed the finish line and kept running til they reached Mass General so they could give blood.  AND it's the residents that took in runners and their families from out of town, when their hotels were evacuated.  It's the total strangers walking home with runners who were shaken up, since they couldn't find their families.

Who knows what information will come tomorrow as we're waking up?  For now, I'm going to celebrate God's hand in my life and thank Him for keeping my family safe.  I'm ALSO going to try to remember how much fun today was before 2:50 pm.  Here are some pictures from earlier in the day so you can hopefully remember the good about the Boston Marathon, too.

Look at this lady's feet - she's not wearing shoes!!!

Newton Fire House