I called her and we chatted a bit, laughing and happy, in awe of what we'd seen. It was a great day.
Fast forward three hours to me sitting in the car loop line at my son's elementary school, my daughter sleeping in the backseat as we waited for school to get out. I checked Facebook (I'm slightly addicted) and saw the words "marathon" and "bomb" in the same sentence. It made no sense. I Googled and found nothing. I went back to Facebook, and there were more posts. I Googled some more, and there it was. Bombs had gone off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Immediately, my feed was filled with "The girls were at the finish line - have they checked in?" and "Oh, my god, B was running, what time was he expected to finish, has anyone called him?" and on and on. I sat with tears in my eyes, not knowing if runners, volunteers, and spectators that I knew had been hurt in the blasts, or if they were safe.
A few hours later, after everyone that I know had been (thank heavens) accounted for, I started thinking about the victims of the explosions. Not just those who had been killed and injured (though, obviously, my heart went out to them and to their families, and I cannot even imagine the horror that they all endured), but the runners, volunteers, and spectators who were there.
The Boston Marathon is a Big Deal. It's a great day for Boston, and a great day for runners. Qualifying for Boston is a life-long dream for some, while others work tremendously hard to raise money for charity so that they, too, may be allowed to run along the same streets as elite athletes. Boston aside, Marathons themselves are a Big Deal. Hours upon hours are spent training for a marathon. Hundreds of miles are logged, injuries are sustained, sleep is lost. People who run marathons endure so much for the chance to cross the finish line, their arms raised in triumph. To be able to say I Did It!
For thousands of people yesterday, that moment of glory was taken away. OF COURSE the main focus should be on the actual victims of the bombs. OF COURSE the runners who were not injured are grateful for their health and safety. OF COURSE. But I can't help feeling sad for those runners who trained so hard and fought for so long, only to have their happy ending taken away from them and replaced with unspeakable horror.
Fortunately, the general consensus seems to be, "We will run again."
My thoughts are with the people of Boston, the victims of this horrific incident, and runners all over the world. God Bless.