I’m starting this blog two days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Like a lot of runners, the news that terrorist(s) had attacked the Boston Marathon shattered me. I’ve run it three times and even though I’ve never run particularly well there, the crowd and the history and the competition make it the standard that every marathon is measured against. I thought back to how much fun I’ve had in Boston after the race and how hard people work to get their Boston Qualifiers and it just made me sick that all of that could be ruined. The news of the casualties was more than I could handle; the whole day I felt like I was getting punched in the stomach. For me, the thing that kept me coming back to Boston was the crowd, and that somebody would specifically target the selfless people cheering on the marathoners at the finish was sickening. As I explain in the “About Me” section of this blog, I know I’m nothing special in the world of running. But this gives me the opportunity to try to give something back to the Boston community, and especially the people who were injured or lost friends and family members.
I had the idea to do a double Boston Marathon after my last race there in 2011. I have never been able to run as fast as I thought I could in Boston, even with the perfect weather in 2011. I thought it would be a fun challenge, and relieve some of the self-applied pressure to run super fast at Boston. Since you have to get up so early to catch the bus to the start anyway, I toyed with the idea of running from the finish to the start, then running the race. In the end I talked myself out of it because I thought I’d feel like I would have to explain to everybody why I ran the marathon so slowly.
Instead, I’m viewing it as a 52.4 mile race against the clock. My time won’t be the official Boston Marathon clock, but the time from when I cross the finish line on Boylston Street until I return with my fellow marathoners. That is why I’m setting up the pledge drive as a performance-based fundraiser. I know I can run 52.4 miles; the goal is to do it as fast as I can, while helping out those hurt by the attacks and taking part in the Boston Marathon and showing the terrorists that they haven’t won. I know I’ll never do anything really special as a runner, but I want to use what little talent I have to do some good.