Monday, April 15, 2013

On Boston

I'm not worried about the runners. There aren't a lot of emotionally weak folks lining up to run marathons, and certainly not to run them fast enough to get to Boston. One after another, tweets rolled in from runners vowing not just to persevere but to focus their energies and redouble their efforts. If you're driven by competition with others, you'd better get your ass in gear.

What worries me are the spectators, the volunteers, the sponsors... all the people who involve themselves peripherally with running and make events happen. And I worry about the runners' families and friends, whose encouragement allows the sport to flourish. Will today drive these people away, or give them pause, or soften their support for this lifestyle with which so many of us primarily identify ourselves?

No one runs alone. There's a partner at home watching the kids, or a stranger cheering from the sidewalk, or a finish-line worker handing out medals, or a police officer blocking traffic at an intersection, or a chiropractor with his name on the back of a race T-shirt. There are fifty million people in this country who run, but so many more who make running happen.

My message to them is this: We need you, now more than ever. Please do not be afraid. The cowards can't touch the runners; don't let them get you either. We will continue to run; we need you to continue to make running happen.

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