Each year, there are three experiences that I can always count on to lift my spirits in a highly exciting yet deeply humbling manner. These experiences make me so happy to be alive and doing what I do each and every day.
The first – standing at the start of the Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon as 15,000 runners pass in front of me, knowing that I played a small part in bringing together this sea of humanity.
The second – turning onto Main Street in Manchester on Thanksgiving morning as one of thousands in the Manchester Road Race.
|100th running of the Boston Marathon (nice outfit!!)|
The third is being part of the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day.
Like so many I was hurt to my core by the bombings at Boston. Seeing that iconic finish line devastated brought tears to my eyes and pain to my heart. No one should mess with the Boston Marathon - period. And yet, two evil knuckleheads did just that, causing life-altering pain and sadness for so many. Their acts forever changed the way we do things in the road race business. I took this very personally, although I was miles away. My heart broke for the victims and for the man I most admire in the business, Dave McGillivray, the Race Director of the Boston Marathon.
Through this horrible darkness of evil came great light. Runners united and became a family. Boston showed its strength and resilience as a community. The world exhibited great compassion with their words and their actions. Donations poured into One Fund Boston, with nearly $61 million in donations for victims raised in the first 90 days. By the end of the year, there was over $12 million in new donations added to that.
I will be at the finish line at Boston this year. I crossed it as a runner six times, and participated in some form or another for 20 years. I will witness the joy of those finishing what they couldn’t finish last year. I will show my support for Dave McGillivray and the rest of the BAA. I will contribute to Dave’s chosen charity, the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation (http://teammr8.org). And I will cheer for Shalane Flanagan, the hometown girl, to win it all. The icing on the cake of a true celebration.