With the rest of the world, I watched the news unfold out of Boston last Monday with a sickening feeling of impotence and helplessness. It was heartbreaking to see such devastation inflicted on an event that had always been a celebration of the human spirit. Marathons show people at their best: from the runners, who persevere and endure against all odds, to the wonderful supporters, who go to great lengths to spur on everyone on the road, whether it is a runner near and dear to them, or a complete stranger who seems to need an extra boost. Remembering the kindness of supporters during my own marathon experience, it broke my heart that it was people like them who were the main victims of this act of terror.
In the face of such a horrific tragedy, what does one do?
"Maybe we can only run. But that's something," said four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers, when he announced that he would come out of retirement to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Confronted by terrorists who aim to destroy a way of life, the only way for most of us to fight back is to refuse to be cowed and keep on going. So, like many runners all over the country and the world this week, I laced up my running shoes and ran. NYRR dedicated today's 4-mile race to Boston, and in a show of support, runners turned up in Red Sox caps, Celtics jerseys, and "I run for Boston" bibs and t-shirts. About $30,000 was raised from the sale of t-shirts, which will be donated to One Fund Boston, to help those affected by the attack. There's no way of undoing the horrors of last week, but we can hope that every small gesture of support, every prayer and every donation will contribute to providing some measure of comfort to those who suffered through and continue to suffer from this tragedy.