Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions

What does one say? I am surprised. That is what I say. For those that have not been there, most of the people had finished the race, and people usually don't stick around the finish line. So on the positive side, it was not nearly as deadly as it might have been 1-2 hours earlier. In 2009 the only year I went into Boston to watch the finish I was on the other side of the street from the bombs. It hits close to home. In the summer of 2001 my family went up in the World Trade Center on vacation. In 2009 I traveled through Abbottabad. Also in 2009 (and probably 2015 or 2016) I was at the finish of the Boston Marathon. 

I feel like, what's next? Dubuque, Iowa? I suppose that the reason I've been to these places before these events, or to Oklahoma City after, is that the place has something that draws crowds of people. After all, bombers don't target field of corn. 

The running community is small. I guarantee by the time this is all over a friend of a friend of mine will be among the injured. As I write this Monday evening there are three dead and 141 injured. It is just surprising. On the one hand, I like running and marathons because they are so accessible, you can get a front row seat to the action, albeit for only a few seconds. It is almost always free to spectate. Unlike the sports surrounded by elitist stadiums and high ticket prices and likely drug use, marathoning is raw. Honestly, hang out at the finish of a marathon for a couple hours sometime. It is painful to watch people come in. I am surprised people can do this to themselves. 

Where do we go from here? Well, even though I plan to run Boston in a few years and a big city marathon this fall, I really do not want to pay $400 for that privilege. I mean, by their nature marathons are long and sprawling and thus extremely difficult to secure entirely. Trying to fit them in a box, while I would still do it, would get hectic with more than a small number of people. Is the marathon going to be the first event at track meets held three hours before everything else starts? (While that is a bit of a joke, I think it is actually a great idea, a flat and fast coarse, only 105.5 laps or 211 indoor. I've considered that might be the best way for me to qualify for the Olympic Trials.) 

I guess, I don't feel like much else is going to change. At Monks this evening the theory is that it is a domestic act. Who knows? God help us!

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