I sit here shocked and stunned by the events at the Boston Marathon this year. To think that such a mindless act could happen at that event is hard to fathom. I have some many vivid memories of so much of that race, they are indelibly etched in my mind. Five years ago I earned the opportunity to run the race. My buddy Matt Kaiser and I ran almost the whole race together. I know we shared an amazement at the crowds along the way. The final turn onto Boylston Street is about 1/4 mile from the finish. When you see the finish line for the first time and feel the roar of the huge crowd down the final straightway, it is awesome. To realize this is where the carnage happened is depressing. My wife and Matt’s kids had seen us along the route. They were to meet us after the finish. Like so many runners, family and friends as spectators are a big part of the race. Those spectators seem to have been the ones injured the most.
From a personal standpoint, I can’t help but reflect on where would I have been if I ran that race on Monday. When we ran it, Matt and I were done with the race about 15 minutes before the time when the explosion occurred. We would have been in the area, still recovering, probably trying to get to the buses that held warm clothes for us. We would not have met up with our families yet. We would not have been in danger by then. But I don’t know how we would have every got together with our families. That would be a very hard part to deal with.
Most people don’t know much about the Boston Marathon course. Other than the last few miles, it is conducted through small communities outside Boston. You are running down “Main Street USA”. You go by people’s houses. It is nothing like the New York City Marathon which is conducted inside the Big Apple. You truly are out in a slice of Americana. And since it is a state holiday in Massachusetts, if the weather is okay, everyone is out watching the race. Now I wonder how all of that might change.
Tragedy comes in so many different ways. But to have experienced an event and now see that event marred by tragedy is a hard thing.