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Monday, Bloody Monday

Today I woke up. It's my short run day - an easy 5 or 6 miles. I should have been excited about the perfect spring weather, the sunshine, 2 cups of my favorite coffee, nature making its move before the run, and thinking about my next race.

Instead, as I got dressed, I watched the news, the horror, the images of the sidewalk I have been on dozens of times, and the Boston Marathon finish line strewn with bomb blast debris.

Yesterday started out perfectly. My wife and our 9-year-old got up and walked the mile down to the race route. We are at the 10K checkpoint (Mile 6.1 of 26.2). There we cheered and clapped for thousands of runners as we waited to high-five our friends (whose names will be changed).

My little one sat on my shoulders and my wife by my side. "What color is John wearing?" She asked.

"He's wearing a red shirt with white lettering and dark blue shorts; I saw them in the picture he posted on Facebook. And the ladies are wearing purple. And the Mark is wearing a dark blue Running Club tank-top."

My cell phone buzzed with a text message. Mandy was killing it. 44 minutes to the 10K checkpoint. She pulled over to the ropes for a quick high-5.

10 minutes later the next buzz and John showed up with a huge grin. "55 minutes," I shouted and high-fived him. It was his first Boston Marathon. Then Mark came through. "1 hour buddy, you are on pace for a personal best!" Another high-5 and off he ran. We waited another 5 or so minutes and Kendra shouted from the middle of the road, "Hey David!"

"Good luck!" I yelled as I waved.

We started our trek back home through the throngs of cheering Bostonians amidst the balloons and clanging cowbells. Then we stopped for lunch with a view of the race route.

All the way home we talked about the crazy costumes, funny t-shirts, and how fun it was to see our friends among 23,000 others - plus the hundreds of bandits running without numbers. If I didn't have to get back to work, I would have been one of them.

I sat at my home desk posting the checkpoint times of my friends to Facebook as they made the 1/2 marathon and 30K check points. I got my last one at 1:47. John had made the 30K checkpoint at 3:04:04. The others had past it a few minutes earlier.

I was expecting to get more updates around 2:47. Mandy had already finished in 3:30. The others were all on pace for a finish in about 4 hours.

Nothing.

I was checking the BAA website and no finish times were recorded. They must be overloaded, I thought. Then I noticed some one posted something on MFP about bombs going off at the Boston Marathon finish line. I Googled it and got the first news stories and 1 photo. I scanned it looking for signs of my friends. I saw the Mandy had LIKED a Facebook post and I messaged her to see if John was alright.

No answer.

I texted the guys on my phone and left posts on their Facebook pages: "Just let me know you are OK."

No answer.

At 3:42 I heard John was OK. Later I heard those from the purple team were all accounted for. Thank God. It took until early evening until Mark returned my text. He was safe in his Boston hotel.

For those of you who run, you know what the camaraderie between them is like. These are my friends. We run together when we can, we encourage each other, and we support each others fund raising efforts. And we see each other at other functions too.

How do I process all this? Today I am angry, tearful, thankful, and as I write this, determined. I dedicated my morning run to thinking and praying for those 3 race fans that died as a result of the evil that a very small group of humans seem relentless about perpetrating on others.

As an American, I have a response. As a Christian, I have a response. As a husband, parent and the protector of my family, I have a response.

My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, those who have lost limbs, to those who are scared, and to those who just freakin' care about their fellow man and are saddened by this act of violence.

As a runner, I also have a response. I am going to run. The first chance I get, I am going to run in downtown Boston. I am going to remember, and I am going to pray. I am going to be sad for those who worked so hard, only to be robbed of the victory of finishing the greatest race on earth: The Boston Marathon.

Go run or pray, or hug your kid, or call a friend, or do something nice for someone. Please.

228 votes + -

29 comments:

RunningOnPurple wrote 51 months ago:
Today I put on my race shirt from the 5K I just did over the weekend and I went out for my day's run. This was on my mind the whole time. I saw a very negative comment on facebook about people getting blown up all over the world all the time but only here in America can three people get killed and it's headline news. This made me very sad. They were right, any loss due to senseless violence is a tragedy. But, as a runner this seems much more personal. My thoughts are with them all.
Denjo060 wrote 51 months ago:
what a senseless tradegy I thought about you when I was watching everything on TV lastnight and even told my BF I have a friend on MFP who was there and had he not had to work he would probably have been there at the finish line when the bombs went off and I am thankful you werent
mrk1185 wrote 51 months ago:
My wife and I dedicated our 4 miler by the ocean this morning to Boston with positive thoughts of love and well being.

I had friends there watching other friends, and luckily they made it back safe. I share your response as a runner.
So_Much_Fab wrote 51 months ago:
This should have waaaay more votes.
Jess830409 wrote 51 months ago:
I stumbled on this blog while doign my usual MFP thing today and you gave me goosebumps, a few tears and another view point of this whole tragic event. Thank you for writing this. God Bless and prayers to all
Time2LoseWeightNOW wrote 51 months ago:
Beautiful words , David...Please run for those of us that can't run.....yet. It breaks my heart at the cruelty of others...There is no excuse for the cruelty, it can't be blamed on a bad life...we've all had bad lives at one time or another....It's just that THEY have an evil heart!!
MaryRegs wrote 51 months ago:
love
turkeyhunter60 wrote 51 months ago:
Tonight, people on Tulsa will run to honor Boston. Tomorrow, we wear tennis shoes to work, regardless of occupation, to honor those who ran, watched, and supported. Prayers to the people of Boston. Thanks for writing.
Mustangsally1000 wrote 51 months ago:
Amen~
jessilyn76 wrote 51 months ago:
Beautifully written. Thank you.
krazyforyou wrote 51 months ago:
OMG, yes I agree totally
ShannonMpls wrote 51 months ago:
Lots of love to you.
sylwheat wrote 51 months ago:
{{{{{hugs}}}}}
yo_andi wrote 51 months ago:
I read your blog earlier and could have sworn I wrote it myself. I was watching from Natick, right by the 10 mile marker. I love this city more than any place I've ever lived. And I will keep running. For those who can't run anymore.
sherry0614 wrote 51 months ago:
Thought about you the entire time I was peeled to the TV. I was so thankful to see your posts on MFP. How can you make sense of something that doesn't make sense? Years ago when my husband passed away, I read somewhere that hell is really the planet we occupy now. For a few years after that in my darkest hours, I thought they were onto somoething. Yesterday, I knew for sure. We get glimpses of "heaven" when we watch good samaritans helping the wounded, and the runners who just ran 26 miles proceed to run to the hospital to donate blood for the victims. Leaving in two hours to donate blood myself in the hopes that it'll help in some small way. We are in desperate need for more "glimpses".
dmpizza wrote 51 months ago:
Well said. Thank you
PJ64 wrote 51 months ago:
Thanks for taking the time to write down your experience.

I grew up outside of Boston in Malden, joined the military & have been gone since 84 but visit often & Boston will always be my Home. I sat glued to the TV in horror, anger & disbelief. My son is not a runner but was there watching the race, I got hold of him right away and just kept telling him "please stay safe"
odditblue wrote 51 months ago:
(((hug))) never quitting. Ever.
cfreema wrote 51 months ago:
Marathoners never quit! I am wearing my medal today, went on a run last night, and a run at lunch today. I will be running the OKC Memorial Marathon, which funds the Memorial for the tragic incident that took place in Oklahoma. I know as a runner, and an Oklahoman, we stand tall beside our fellow Bostonians.
ranchmimi wrote 51 months ago:
Beautifully written - thank you.
beckydragonpoet wrote 51 months ago:
I thought about Boston while I did my run today. All I could think was by running I was beating the negative people.

This was fantastic. Thank you for sharing.
jmnicholas wrote 51 months ago:
"As an American, I have a response. As a Christian, I have a response. As a husband, parent and the protector of my family, I have a response.

My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, those who have lost limbs, to those who are scared, and to those who just freakin' care about their fellow man and are saddened by this act of violence."

Beautiful. As a UK MFP user, and a Christian, I am continuing to pray - for those directly affected, for those who are suffering, for Boston, for America, for the London Marathon this weekend, and for those who carried out this terrible act. God Bless.

bjbixler wrote 51 months ago:
Thanks for sharing. I am so grateful that no one I know was injured by this senseless act, but my heart is still heavy for a city I have grown to love as a second home.
sc5351 wrote 51 months ago:
Thank you for saying all the things I am feeling. Well done.
Hearts_2015 wrote 51 months ago:
yanniejannie wrote 51 months ago:
All I can say is thank you for a beautifully written, immensely moving, heartfelt post. We all stand with you and your wonderful city.
slimforparis wrote 51 months ago:
I'm just watching the London marathon - they're all running for Boston today. Some runners interviewed said they were looked after so well by the people of Boston last weekend and they're running in honour of Boston this morning.
jagfan wrote 51 months ago:
We in Jacksonville, FL ran for Boston yesterday evening. It was touching to see so many come out. We are a large town with a small population, considering. We are also very patriotic as we have several bases located in the area. We pray for you and your city that was terrorized for many days. We are glad it is over - although those touched directly still have much to go through. We run, for them.
littlelaura wrote 39 months ago:
It was completely senseless yet we wont back down, fear will never take control we will stand against it defiantly...or in your case Run! I will be rooting for you on Monday and saying prayers today for those lost,injured or affected in anyway by this tragedy. Go David!

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