Friday, April 26, 2013

The Spirit of the (Boston) Marathon

"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."
-Kathrine Switzer

Of all the things I've read and seen in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, this quote stands out a bit. For all the truth it conveyed before the horror that took place on April 15, Kathrine Switzer's message seems ever more meaningful and true now, as Boston and the rest of the world heal from this tragedy.

It's hard to even find words that adequately describe the impact the bombings have had. First and foremost, the memory of those lives lost in the tragedy, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Sean Collier and Krystle Campbell will be forever mourned and cherished not only by their immediate family and friends, but by an entire nation. In addition, we hope and pray that those who were injured heal quickly, and we have faith that they'll recover better and stronger than ever before.

We've also seen incredible resilience, grace, and generosity in the city of Boston, the running community and humanity at large. From bystanders who rushed to help the injured to residents across Massachusetts offering all they could to help displaced runners in the aftermath, it's clear that the good in this world heavily outweighs the evil perpetrated by a few individuals and it always will.

Now, nearly two weeks later, Boston has begun picking up the pieces of a reality that was shattered by two cowards with little regard for human life. The pieces already coming together beautifully, into something new that's brilliant and strong, if more somber than before. Boston has opened up Boylston Avenue and a makeshift memorial has been erected. From what I can tell, it's a beautiful tribute to the victims of the attack and the city itself.

The cover of Boston Magazine's May issue
Next year's Boston Marathon will be the most beautiful, stirring display of human nature I can imagine. I get choked up over any marathon, so I can only surmise that one so filled with heart and meaning will not be something to be missed. Whether I participate by running or cheering, I don't intend to miss it.