Thoughts on Boston…

I have a week vacation from student teaching and I expected to spend this afternoon applying for teaching jobs. With the idea that writing one’s thoughts can be therapeutic for author and reader alike I offer some thoughts about today.

Patriots day is arguably the best weekend of the year to be a resident of Massachusetts. Celebrating the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord and the start of the Revolutionary War, it is a great weekend filled with events, patriotism and fun. It is like a version of July 4th specifically for Boston. Monday is the cap off with a mid-morning Red Sox game and of course the Boston Marathon.

Most people might think of a marathon as fairly unexciting for anyone who is not running in it or knows someone who does. Growing up near Boston though this event is the talk of the town. It is the oldest continuously run marathon in the world. It is televised from start to finish on local TV. Terms like Hopkinton, heartbreak hill, Wellesley, and Boylston St. are well known markers and subjects of conversation. I always watched it when I moved back here in middle school. When I became a runner in high school, I dreamed of running it officially. Many of my high school friends ran it as unqualified “bandits.” My dad had run it a number of times when he was younger. Boston loves its marathon.

To qualify you have to run an entire other marathon in a fairly competitive time based on your age and gender. In 2009 I qualified and successfully ran in the Boston marathon. Friends and family were at various points on the course. My mother and her best friend were in the bleachers at the finish exactly where today, 4 years later, the first explosion ripped through.

My finishing time would have me safely on the way home with my mom at that point but that gives me little comfort for the pain and destruction wrought today. I hate that this happened. I hate that it destroyed such a wonderful celebration of this city and our country.

I ran a road race today in Lexington. I did warm up strides on the green where the “shot heard round the world” occurred. I ate ice cream and relaxed in the beautiful sun off main street afterwards. And then I got in my car, turned on the radio and heard that two explosions had occurred.

I have heard back from as many family and friends as I can figure might have been there and all are safe. Of course some people are not. Tonight we will pray for them, think of them and grieve for them. But no matter how awful today has turned out I still love this weekend and this marathon and all it represents. May we be given peace in these thoughts at least.


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