One year ago today, tragedy struck the running community. An act of cowardliness harmed many along Boylston Street. But the acts of heroism that occurred moments later are those that make us proud as a country, as human beings, and as runners.
On April 15th, 2013, I sat in my office in a small Oregon High School attached to the news reports streaming live from Boston. My heart sinking. My eyes tearing. Although I was 3,000 miles away, it was evident that my running family had changed instantly.
Ten days later, my wife and I arrived in Monterey, California for the 2013 Big Sur International Marathon. The exhibit hall was filled with runners, over 500, who were part of the Boston to Big Sur Challenge. Spending most of my time listening, and admittedly eavesdropping, I was blown away by the stories from those who were at the finish line, in the crowd, and still on the course during the bombing.
Seeing runners along the course wearing 2013 BAA gear, I made it a point to smile and make a brief connection as we crossed paths. Seeing their tears of joy at the finish line meant so much more than my own triumph and so much more than 26.2. This finish was one of many beginning moments of healing and of finding new strength for this, my, running community.
Over the past year, I stand at the start line of every race thinking of Boston and the reflection that began Big Sur. Every moment of silence…every Pledge of Allegiance…every National Anthem…all have brought a tingle in my throat and tears in my eyes.
I was raised in Virginia. Spent twelve years working and beginning a family in Oregon. Now I reside in Missouri. But today, just like that emotional day one year ago, I am Boston Strong.
Check out Andy's profile and links to his other posts on our Contributors page.
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