Marathon Monday is a tradition. This was the first year in 5 that I was not with Loren at the Sox game followed by cheering the runners on Boylston. It was strange to see pictures of the gang and I wasn’t there. This isn’t some conspiracy rant on my part and I don’t have regrets or feel any karma, it just feels strange to have not been in Boston with Loren, Ryan and Shannon.
The simple story is that we go on vacation next week and I couldn’t burn the extra day of vacation. But throughout the day I was texting with friends along the route, and watching the progress of runners on the BAA site.
I have never run Boston, though I would love to. The fact is I am not that fast and couldn’t qualify. I could run for a charity, but even that is hard to do nowadays. Most don’t realize but getting a number for Boston is actually pretty hard. I’ve stood along the route watching the runners pass, seeing the looks on their faces as they approach the finish line. I never really understood that joy until I ran some longer races and you hear people call your number, cheer you on, and ring cowbells (it’s true, you can never have too much cowbell). The atmosphere is electric. I’ve run smaller races so there are long stretches where you don’t see anyone. I can only dream of what coming out of Hopkinton is really like or that final stretch as you pass Fenway.
I don’t really have any profound thoughts about the day, just sadness for the families, anger at the perpetrators and disappointment that such a vaunted institution is now stained. I did hear something interesting this morning on a radio program. The DJ said that ‘the terrorists have got it all wrong, every time they attack, we become more resolved.’ There is a lot of meaningless chatter out there right now, but that struck a chord. I also heard the crowd cheer throughout the national anthem at the Blackhawks game, that was pretty powerful.
I would like to add a little of my own commentary on the notion of terrorism. Today the President called it a terrorist attack, but yesterday it was not and that really bothered me. Two hours after the event, it was pretty clear that this was not an accident. If someone or some group aims to indiscriminately hurt, maim, kill or instill fear in people through violence, that is terrorism. Political motivations are not needed to justify the word. If you try to harm innocent, unrelated, unaffiliated people you are a terrorist. A bully in the playground is aiming at one or a few specific people, that is not terrorism. Murder and other violent crimes, is not, because there is a separate intent, either at one person, or an intent to do/ get something. Acts of violence at an abortion clinic are targeted at anyone, and the intent is to scare people from going there. That is terrorism. A gang-banger who shoots blindly into a house on a drive by is a terrorist. His intent is to instill fear. All the other classic terrorist actions are still included, my intent is to help define the word, not spell out every single use case.
Best wishes for the victims and their families