I am a Runner.

I am a runner. I have run marathons. I have participated in large events. Why? Because I am a runner.

Running is easy. No experience is necessary. Running is the type of activity that can keep you fit. You don’t need anything to run. Just get up and run. The distance is up to you. What you decide to wear is up to you. You don’t need to be fast. You just need to be able to place one foot in front of the other in a manner so that you cover a distance faster than walking.

Running is also a group thing. It is also a sisterhood, a brotherhood, a fellowship of people with similar interests. Those interests? Anything involved with the activity of running.

I can go for a run at the park, on the street, on a trail; Someone else is there doing the same thing. You greet and then run together. It is a great thing to be a part of.

I will never qualify for the Boston Marathon. It truly is a prestigious event for the best of all runners. You have to qualify for it. Factors include age, a qualifying event pace, or as a charity runner. I’m not good at charities. It is difficult for me to ask others (mostly friends and fellow runners) for money. Even though it goes for a great cause, I just cannot do it. So, I don’t think I can ever run in the Boston Marathon.

Having said that, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have thoughts about someone or some organization that felt it was necessary to disrupt one of America’s very best, and certainly the Boston Athletic Association’s premier event.

Runners were hurt. Spectators were hurt. Bombs were placed in and around areas where both would congregate. Then they were detonated. This was an act of aggression toward a group of people that just want to prove something. For most of us, it is proving something to ourselves.

Let me say something about spectators. Nothing can get a runner excited about running quite like a spectator. They cheer, they ring bells, they clap, they whistle, they cheer you on. They are often the wife, the husband, the kids, the grandmother, the grandfather, the uncle, the aunt. They are the people that sit at home worrying about the runner as they go on training runs. They worry that their runner is nourished, hydrated, and in good spirits. They have the burden should something happen during training to go out and assist their runner. They are the support that every runner needs.

Others may have been curious people. Others may have been interested in taking up running. Some may have wanted to celebrate ‘Patriot’s Day’ in a traditional Boston way.

Why hurt the innocent? It makes no sense to me.

Now for the Personal Part…

Hurting the spectators makes it personal. Hurting a runner? Any runner? That’s personal, too.

I had to think about it after it happened. Will I run any more races? I can run and enjoy it, without competing. When I do compete, I have no chance to win, place or show. I can be just as comfortable running on my treadmill, running the streets of Englewood, running the local parks & trails.

A favorite way for me to vacation is to run a race with family and friends. I’ve run a Rock’n’Roll full marathon in Seattle, the Route 66 Half in Tulsa, I’ve run the Big Sur Half in Monterey, I’ve even run the Vegas Strip in Las Vegas in both a half and whole marathon! Do I want to give that up because of this? Even though (with my speed), I would not be in the path of danger; that does not mean that these events should stop for me or any runner.

I also thought about the bad guys.  At the time of this writing, they are just that. Anonymous individuals willing to take away the achievement of an endurance runner. A runner who has trained for months, each week with runs that get longer and longer. A runner that did speed work regularly to be able to meet his/her goal pace.

A runner learns to set goals. They also learn to achieve a major goal by setting many minor ones. Everything they do during their training is to achieve that goal of the Finish Line!

I won’t let them do that to me. I can’t let them do that to me. You don’t have to run with me, but I will continue to run events. I will not let the bad guys win!

How You Can Help!

BM 9News

The above picture is courtesy of Channel 9 News in Denver, Colorado.

The FBI has identified the people above as ‘possible’ perpetrators of this miscarriage of societal mores. Share this picture with your friends and social contacts. Let’s get them and have them questioned. They may not be the ‘ones,’ but they should be questioned.

It is a different world now. Running may no longer be an ‘innocent’ individual sport anymore. We are banding together even to make an even stronger running community.

The bad guys will not win.

This is what I would like to finish with:

On this day of April 15th 2013

A pledge of a runner:

I will run. I will compete.

I will NOT run away.