I was excitedly watching the runner tracking on the Boston Marathon on Monday, cheering on several local friends who were living the dream out in “bean town” while I rooted for them at home and daydreamed about running the race myself next year if I can pull off that BQ I’ve been chasing since I first fell in love with running 5 years ago. Running the Boston Marathon is for me what it is for countless other runners who have come before me – the “Holy Grail” of running achievements for the common man and woman. For most runners, earning the right to race Boston is an extraordinary honor, bestowed only on those who have had the determination, grit and speed it takes to earn a place in Hopkinton on Patriot’s Day each April.
My mood was light as I watched the race updates. And, then, suddenly, something went wrong. Very, very wrong. There was an explosion. People were falling, bleeding, panic ensued. And, then another explosion. Frantically, I searched the news for information about what was happening. I texted my closest running buddy and asked if he was watching the news. I was in shock. Stunned. What had been a joyous celebration scene had suddenly become a war zone with spectators losing limbs and bleeding and runners being told less than a mile from the finish line that the race was cancelled. The quick response of the police, the paramedics and volunteers on scene who rushed to the aid of the injured, not knowing if they were right in the midst of more attacks was overwhelming. Good people do good, selfless, kind things – even at the risk of their own well-being, which is exactly the opposite of what the cowards who unleashed this horrible attack did – orchestrating an evil attack on innocent people in the midst of a celebration who had no way to defend themselves or fight back.
I was in tears watching the mayhem, the blood, the fear I saw on the faces of those interviewed. I worried for my friends who were there and for their friends and family who had been there watching and cheering from the sidelines! My five children hugged me and looked at me with questioning, innocent faces asking why anyone would do such a terrible, ungodly thing? I had few answers.
My heart was heavy when I awoke the next morning realizing that the Boston attack had not been some terrible nightmare but was in fact, a harsh reality. My husband and I had directed The Bruneau Beast sand dunes race over the weekend and it was my responsibility to head back to the course and sweep the 5k, cleaning up flag markings, any trash and such. The sky was gray and dark. It was threatening to rain. I welcomed the weather as an appropriate response to the grievous acts that had taken place the day before, the loss of innocent life (including an 8 year old little boy who was waiting for his daddy to cross the finish line). I drove alone the hour out of Boise, losing myself in the mournful mood of my soul, glad for the chance to process my emotions and be alone.
I took along my camera and these are the photos I captured that day as I grieved for Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragedy.