Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013


Below is the body of an email I sent to my adult volunteers for the Sunnyside Marathon Relay Team on the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

"It's with a heavy heart that I hear the news of the tragic events in Boston today. I was able to catch some of the live streaming coverage this morning. The runners and wheel-chair competitors seemed in good form. The volunteers and fans were, as usual for the grand-daddy of all marathons, terrific. The course usually draws somewhere close to 500,000 fans. 

An act(s) such as this at this venerable event makes me appreciate the spirit of a runner; the spirit to overcome. Thanks, again, for all your help with the Sunnyside Marathon Relay Team and helping to introduce the spirit of a runner to the students at Sunnyside."

Further, when asked for comment by a local newspaper columnist in the days after, I wrote the following:

"People with bad intentions will do bad things. But, the people that suffered a loss yesterday, what were they doing? They were there supporting a pinnacle event of their fair city, they were supporting family and friends that were running as well as supporting complete strangers. And what of the runners? They suffered long ago through tough training in order to run fast enough in another marathon to score them a qualifying time that would allow them entry into this event. Or, if not hitting the qualifying time by themselves, they were in the Boston event by way of their commitment to raise money for one of 35 charities. And, how about those event volunteers and the emergency personal who were doing their best to provide for a safe environment. The finish line was taken away from a number of runners. But, a lot of us learned a long time ago, it's not about the finish line, it's about the journey and the people we connect with along the way. 

In spite of the tragedy, I am heartened that a spotlight has been shown on the people I have mentioned. 

So, innocence stolen, maybe. Strength of the human spirit revealed, definitely."

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