Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tragedy in Copley Square

New York shoulders Boston's grief
A very un-welcome conclusion to Monday's Boston Marathon. There was some uncomfortable anxiety for the many people I knew out on the course that morning, all of whom have since been thankfully accounted for. My many memories of Boston were sterling - their sum many times greater than the parts - but now turned a bit darker.

The Boston Marathon is personal to me, and the damage to its fine people and the spirit of the day hurts me.
Disgusted that one of the fallen was a young boy there to watch his father realize months of work and personal triumph. Heartened by the reactions of many of the athletes and first-responders to rush to the aid of the injured.

And so I wear a race-t under my dress shirts and tie this week. Instead of feeling like I need to do laundry, it makes me feel like a super-hero. The bright turquoise Boston finishers shirt that I've always felt self-conscious about wearing now beams from its place in my closet as a charm against evil and a brilliant symbol of the goodness in all of us. And there are thousands like me. Boston will have a record registration push next year from folks whose emotional attachment to the great lady of American running is greater than the price of fifty-mile-weeks, and stiff joints, and muscle strains, and training runs at night in the snow, and the random violence of sick assholes.

A very elegant and concise perspective from a runner bearing witness to Monday's tragedy can be found over at The Logic of Long Distance. Jeff Edmonds writes:
Those two blasts introduced pain without effort. Suffering beyond endurance. A bomb is quick, thoughtless, grotesque, impatient, unfeeling. It's all externality, no internality. All destruction, no training. All noise, no silence. All damage, no strength. A bomb is the opposite of a marathon.

Another great reflection on the personal nature of the race from the always terrific Charles Pierce over at Grantland (and of Esquire magazine).
Nobody loves the Boston Marathon as much as the people who make fun of it year after year. This was the race that previously offered as a prize a not particularly expensive medal, a laurel wreath, and a bowl of beef stew. This was the race that, on one memorable occasion, nobody knew who actually won...The Marathon will be worth mocking again. But that will not be today. It will not be anytime soon.

And for those that prefer the visual, Stephen Colbert adds his opinion about the steeliness of runners and the hard-nosed people of Boston, and how this terror bullshit and mindless violence and mayhem is tired, and needs to stop.

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