Runners’ pain

The news made me cry today. Twice. Both times the Boston Marathon was in the headline.

The first tears were shed over a story covering a group of parents from Newton, Connecticut, who signed up to run Boston in honor of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I could not find the story I heard on the radio, but here are the words I likely heard, from Laura Nowacki, pulled from here and here:

In the first 20 miles we’re honoring our 20 Sandy Hook first graders, and when we crest Heartbreak Hill and we’re coming back towards Boston, we run the final six for our six fallen educators who gave everything of themselves, including their lives, to protect our children … [on the final two-tenths of a mile,] We’re going to sprint like we ran that day to get to our children, and we’re going to fly like those little kids flew to get out of that horror and to get to the firehouse, and we’re just going to let it all out and run for the freedom and that full on love of life that those kids had.

That’s the thing with runners. They are always linking themselves to honorable causes (the purpose of this blog being a case in point). I challenge you to think of a single race that does not have a charitable component to it. Even the races run for profit will have individual runners or groups raising funds for charity.

When all other action seems futile, running FOR someone – suffering for a cause – can make a positive difference.

That is in part why the news out of Boston this afternoon made me shed tears again.

So many runners are good eggs: dedicated, helpful, encouraging. I have met some of my favorite people while running the streets of Ames, Iowa, with Team Vardo members and around Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, with Western Wind Running Club members.

When you run together, suffer together, you develop a bond. Runners become part of a big extended family.

And that is runners’ pain today – our family has been hurt.

Today I ran my 6 miles wearing a black armband in solidarity with the runners at Boston.

black armband

I am also focusing on advice passed along by Mr. (Fred) Rogers:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Here are some of today’s helpers: Stories of Kindness after the Bombing.

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

One thought on “Runners’ pain

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever been as thankful for chip timing/online tracking at a race as I was yesterday when I could “see” where my friend Newt was and know he was still racing when the bombs went off.

    You’re right about runners becoming a large extended family…this felt as though it hit very close to home.

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