I am not given to commentary about current affairs on this blog. There are plenty of other bloggers and news sources out there doing a creditable job of keeping the world abreast of what is going on. Sometimes, though, an event strikes too close to home to ignore, even if one has dedicated one’s blog to more esoteric subjects and conjectures.
I am a runner. I’ve been out of one of my favorite pastime for several months due to a recurring problem with my foot but prior to that I had just managed to run my personal best in a 5K run. I can tell the reader that every distance runner, no matter how hard he or she denies it, would love to run a marathon.
The 26.2 mile race is the pinnacle of distance running. Steeped in history, the marathon is, for many who plod the paths, the runner’s Mount Everest. Anyone who has completed one or more of these monster runs will wear the t-shirt they got from the race with considerable pride and will be viewed with something akin to awe by those of us who have only managed 10K (6.2 miles).
Of the many marathons available for runners these days, Boston is one of the largest and most well known. It has a long tradition going back to 1897. As Wikipedia says “the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events”. It is also an event that runners compete in with great pride since one has to meet the qualifying standards to even be accepted to run in the event. As an example, if one were an 18 – 34 year old male, one would have had to run a marathon course certified by one of the track and field governing bodies in under 3 hours and 5 minutes. This would be a pace of a little over 7 minutes per mile . . . for 26.2 miles. In my younger days, I actually managed a sub seven minute mile. Once. And the rest of my run for that day was done at a very sedate pace.
The reader can then imagine my horror when I heard about the sickening attack at the Boston Marathon. Not only have the perpetrators of this bombing injured dozens of people. Not only have those responsible killed three people, including an eight year old boy, as of this writing with the possibility of more deaths in the days ahead. Not only have these people committed an act of barbarity against innocent people but they have desecrated one of the shining lights of sports.
Every person who runs the Boston Marathon has a story. To be in condition to run such a race, to meet the qualifying standards, each person there has sacrificed. For some it has been the pain of hauling themselves up that last hill on their training course for the umpteenth time. For others, it has been smoothing relationships with a spouse who does not quite understand the running obsession. For still others, it is overcoming an injury or illness that would have stopped most ordinary mortals. Attacking those people and the spectators who come out to cheer them on is the lowest form of villainy.
And so, this day, it is my fervent wish that the perpetrators of this act be plagued by guilt and remorse for what they have done. May it pursue them like a coursing hound wherever they go and no matter what rationalization they use to defend their actions. May they come to the firm realization that their hands are soaked in the blood of innocents and may they fall firmly into the hands of Justice.
So may it be.