For the past two years, I have been doing my best at pretending to be a runner. Well, more like a walker/runner. I’ve done the Disney Princess Half Marathon and a number of 5Ks. But I would never consider myself in the same class as those runners in Boston on Monday. And yet, we are the same.
Recently I joined a Sit-to-Fit running group. We meet twice a week and train for the Flying Pig Marathon here in Cincinnati. We are a group of all levels of ability, all ages, all sizes. But we are one. If you ask any number of runners, they will tell you the same thing. Runners are a family. The camaraderie and support among runners is like none I have ever experienced. When I don’t feel as if I can go any farther, someone pulls up alongside me and tells me I can. That’s what was going on in Boston. Friends, families, and supporters were there to cheer on their family, friends, and even strangers. They are an important part of our family, too.
The night of the bombing at the marathon’s finish line, I joined my running group. The mood was solemn. As one runner said, “Boston is like our Super Bowl.” And yet, after a few moments of silence we ran. We ran because that’s what we do. That’s how we tell whoever is responsible for this ghastly act: “You don’t win. You can slow us down, but you can’t stop us. We are runners.”