Seven Days to Boston

April 14th, 2014 | In In The News, Running Meets Life

We all remember where we were when we heard the news. As a runner, how could you forget? Frantically calling friends and loved ones to make sure that they were okay. Looking at online race results to see if our running buddies had already crossed the finish line. Worrying that their anticipated finish time was 4 hours and wondering if the grueling 26.2 miles had pushed them back to 4:09. Worry mounting to fear upon not getting through to their phone.

As the hours wore on and we learned that our friends were safe, the rollercoaster of emotions began. Fear led to disbelief. Disbelief that something so violent and angry and horrific could happen at an event meant to bring people together and celebrate the human spirit. Disbelief became a prolonged state of anger. Anger that someone would attack our friends, our training partners, our event, our celebration, our children, our spectators and fans. For many, anger that someone had targeted their city, our country.

When the anger eventually subsided, we became inspired. Inspired to unite and run and prove to the world that runners are the most determined, dedicated, and resilient people. Inspired to create the One Fund Boston and raise $61 million in 75 days to help over 230 victims and survivors. Inspired to put in the miles, qualify, and return 371 days later to toe the line in Hopkinton.

An event like the Boston Marathon can be seen as a collection of stories of 36,000 people. What compels these people to push themselves through the discomfort of 26.2 miles? What personal triumphs or tragedies bring them to Boston in April? One story in particular stands out for 2014, thanks to a recent 60 Minutes highlight: Shalane Flanagan’s pursuit to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985. Shalane learned to love the sport while watching her parents compete in the marathon, and she wants nothing more than to win the race in her hometown. An American victory, especially in light of 2013’s events, would be huge for her, the event, and the sport.

We want to hear your story. Are you running the Boston Marathon? Where were you during the race in 2013? How has running carried you through a tragedy in your life? There is a story behind every mile that a runner completes, and we want to know yours. Let us know in the comments below.

Best of luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon next Monday!

You can see the stories of this year’s Atlanta Track Club members competing in the Boston Marathon here
Learn more about One Fund Boston, read the stories of the survivors and victims, or donate here
Watch Shalane’s story here

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