Social media is a wonderful way for an expansive community to come together and feel united. I’ve been scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today and can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about the way the “running community” comes together as a family. We may always joke that we’re “friends” before we even speak to each other when we pass along on the trails or in a race because we “get it”. We get the pain, the struggles, the motivation, the passion, the sacrifices, the amazing empty but satisfying feeling after a long run. We can relate to each others’ craziness. Just like a family. So here are just a few of the images that made me feel united among my running family today:
As wonderfully stated by Katherine Switzer, women’s pioneer marathoner, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon”. Strangers cheering and supporting strangers. Strangers helping strangers up when they fall. Strangers competing among themselves but reaching out to motivate others, even when they are drained and depleted. Strangers with signs to keep spirits up: “You’re all CRAZY! Keep going!”, “Toenails are overrated!”, “Worst parade ever!”. Strangers with little cups of beer for runners, with jelly beans and Skittles, and even race volunteers that hand you a Pepsi instead of Gatorade at Mile 23 because one more sip of Lemon Lime Gatorade just might make you puke. The recent attacks on this community of runners, spectators, and volunteers has only solidified our unity. These attackers obviously don’t realize that fighting through pain and refusing to give up is what we do best. We wouldn’t be at a marathon otherwise.
There’s currently a Run For Boston “memorial run” taking place in honor of the victims of yesterday’s attack. Nothing spectacular or difficult. Simply run. I had an easy 2-miler scheduled before a circuit training this morning. I didn’t realize until I hit the treadmill that I’d forgotten my iPod. Annoyed, but knowing I could easily run 2 without my iPod, I trudged on. Afterwards I realized I wasn’t supposed to run with music today. I was supposed to run with only my thoughts and reflections. A happy accident, indeed.