Do You Think You Will Run The Boston Marathon?

Posted: April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

The past 36 hours have been an emotional roller coaster. I have been focused on providing support, understanding and clarity to the hundreds of runners, family and friends that have reached out to me. Ironically, it has been the best way for me to deal with all the confusion and questions that I have about this tragic event.

One of my goals during the nearly 5 month training season is to provide a perfect ending to this amazing journey. Runners deserve Marathon Monday to be one of the most memorable days of their lives. They have sacrificed so much to make it to the Big Stage and have earned the opportunity to experience all that the Boston Marathon provides. I am only beginning to realize the magnitude of confusion and disappointment…both of which are going to take considerable time to reconcile and resolve.

While to goal of the runners is to make it to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, my goal is to provide the most amazing celebration as they arrive back at the Westin to meet their teammates, families and friends. Runners arrive wrapped in Mylar blankets, finisher’s medals wrapped around their necks with salt stained faces, to a heroes welcome…the culmination of work extremely well done!

As I was making my way to the Westin I was astonished by how many women I encountered running in the opposite direction in dresses and carrying their shoes. Approaching the hotel, there was a Boston Police instructing everyone to get inside…my confusion was just beginning. After I arrived on the fourth floor I realized something horrific must have happened. What should have been a celebratory environment was filled with shock, fear and disbelief. I suddenly and unexpectedly had to shift gears. The realization that this incredibly special day, one normally filled with promise, was going to be quite different. I spent hours attempting to provide answers, comfort and reassurance but I feel I came up short on all counts.

I woke up the following morning and just wanted to run. Because I know that running provides answers, hope and inspiration. Lori, Rider and I began the run together while Macie Jo pedaled her bike alongside. Lori stayed with her while Rider and I pulled ahead. It was wonderful to run side by side with him. Here was our 12 year old son running stride for stride with me, breathing rhythmically, at a pace I wasn’t sure I could maintain. And I know he was searching for answers, too.

Afterwards, I asked him if he was afraid and whether he wanted to talk about what happened. He indicated he was scared there may be more explosions and didn’t feel safe until he realized the dust had settled and the worst was over. I hesitated to ask the following question but I just needed to:

‘Do you think you would like to run the Boston Marathon someday, Rider?’ He flashed his amazing smile and provided the answer I needed to hear most…”Yes, I know I’m going to run the Boston Marathon someday!”

Comments
  1. christinelt7 says:

    Rick,

    I have had a very similar experience with Richard my 10 (almost 11) year old, while running the 5k sunday we discussed him running the Marathon in 8 years when he’s old enough. Then again after everything happened, despite him being at my moms and not with me we have had several meaningful conversations and he still insists he’s absolutely going to continue 1. To run and 2. Still wants to run all of the BAA races including the marathon! Our kids are truly resilient and amazing!
    Christine Tierney

    • Christine,

      That is wonderful. Maybe I will be Richard’s coach when he decides to run Boston. I thought of you when I was at the Westin on Monday and our meeting last year. I’m so thankful our paths crossed.

      Rick

  2. Donna Wise says:

    Monday was my 3rd consecutive Boston. Yes, I would like to run it again.

    ~ Donna Wise Denver, CO

    “There is no finish line.” (Joan Benoit Samuelson)

  3. David Brown says:

    And I would be thrilled to run Boston with Rider and Rick!

  4. David E. Gravelle says:

    I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 and had no plans to run it again. I have now signed up to run for a charity.

  5. Ariana Gillen says:

    Hello,
    I have Been trying to run the marathon for the past 2 years. I tried to get onto the Samaritans team but they only had a certain amount of numbers. I was there on Monday As I am every year cheering on those at the finish line. Me and my boyfriend Left to go get lunch and we were standing on the stairs where the second explosion went off, Thank goodness. I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to all of your runners and familys and you yourself and your family . I am only 18 years old and now I have learned that I need to run the Boston Marathon Next year, especially for the ones who couldn’t finish this year. My heart breaks for everyone effected by this. I would like to try and get onto one of your teams for next year. I ran the Boston 5k On sunday and got 26min. I run half marathons all the time. Running is what frees me. I now find myself running thinking of all the familes effected by this. I would love if you could save me a spot for next year. I want to do it for everyone. Reach my dream. For a cause. For a reason.

    Thank you

    • Hello Ariana,

      Thank you for your message. It certainly sounds like you’re mentally and physically prepared to training for your first marathon. I hope you will stay in touch with me. We normally form our TEAM in September.

      Rick

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