A bomb at the Boston Marathon. Sports, the one event where no matter your religion, nationality, color or particular bent, it’s the one place, at least at the worlds greatest sporting events, where everyone joins together and differences are put aside. When I think of sporting event that do this I think of the World Cup, Pele and billions of people tuned in to watch the final match. People holding their breath on every shot waiting for that magical moment when someone launches a shot across the penalty box just out of reach of the goalie’s outstretched fingertips and puts the ball in the top far corner just inches from striking the cross or side bar and falling harmlessly to the pitch. I think of the Olympics, where people get out of bed or stay up to all hours of the night and day. They do this to watch their favorite sports and athletes. They also do this to watch for obscure sports. It’s the one time in four years where people stop what they are doing to watch events like table tennis, canoeing, ski jumping or curling. I also think of the worlds great marathons, London, Rotterdam, NYC and Boston to name a few. Boston, the Monday Marathon. The marathon is a test not only of the swiftest but of the smartest and the riskiest. Can you take that flyer from 20k to go and make it stick? Do you hide in the pack hoping to launch a move that brings you glory, can you reach deep inside and embrace a new level of pain and suffering to literally go the extra mile before breaking down and falling off the pace? Sometimes that roll of the dice, just sometimes it pays off.
But now that great tradition has been soiled. It’s not just a great Bostonian tradition or American tradition but a great worldwide tradition, it belongs to all of us. Over 90 different countries are represented in Boston, all of the major religions and many of the minor ones. An attack on the marathon is an attack against all of us around the world. It’s designed to rip the fabric that binds people together no matter where you live. Your beliefs may be different, but your belief in the suffering required to do Boston is the same. You may race someone down to the wire, but cross that line and it’s high fives. You each are better than you were because of that race.
Endurance athletes are bound together, it’s literally in our blood. We can look at any race anywhere in the world and instantly sympathize with those on the starting line. We know their toils, their sacrifices, the time spent suffering through the miles. If you meet someone at a race, no matter who they are you have a common bond. This is what we can not let someone take away from us. That shared sense of community that being an endurance athlete brings, that shared sense of community that the biggest sporting events in the world brings. That togetherness knowing that right then, while you are watching the final match in the World Cup, or you are running miles for That race, that someone else, somewhere else is doing the same thing.