Friday, 19 April 2013

We are stronger

I know there have been many blogs and posts, with some wonderful words, but I wanted and felt the need to do my own. 
Monday, April 15th.
 I got home from work and set about uploading training data, and catching up with the online community of runners, cyclists, swimmers, and triathletes that I am proud and honored to be a part of and in many cases to call some friends, in every real sense of the word. Something flicks up on twitter about Boston Marathon. I then recall that it's today that it's on, and wonder how many peeps I may know running. I dig deeper into the news, and I'm struck with shock and slight disbelief at what I'm finding: EXPLOSIONS...FINISH LINE...4hrs...INJURIES...DEAD. 
Those of you that know me and know me well, will know that I am very much a pacifist, a humanist, a live and let live person. I've been thru the testosterone-driven fisticuffs in life and sport, but I've grown into a human that likes to observe, accept and appreciate others, their ways and their beliefs. I sincerely believe, also, that the vast majority who choose to dedicate themselves to endurance sport share this ethos. We share a common bond; to challenge ourselves in a way that does not adversely affect anyone, but positively improves us, our families, society at large and we do so in our own li'l minority world, free from politics, racism, homophobia or religious argument. We get lampooned about our sportswear, our 'holier than thou' 'green' attitude, our seemingly self promoting smug posts, but I believe also, that in reality people generally respect us for what we do; our sacrifices, commitment and what we stand for. 
To choose our li'l self contained world of positivity to create fear and destruction is a cold move into a very low place. To strike the common man, he or she who has maybe overcome some pretty hefty odds stacked against them, physical or mental challenges, who is a magnificent example of strength and courage, of what we can achieve as individuals, is beyond my comprehension. And, seemingly the sporting community at large. Immediately there followed a flood of disbelief, reports, info-sharing, caring, concern, support. The collective pain was palpable. 
The Boston Marathon. Forever tainted, against anyone remotely connected to it's wishes. 

We are a strange but tough bunch tho, us part-time, time crunched, wanna be athletes. We fight against anyone that attacks us, en masse, and vehemently stand up for what we believe in. We unite. 

This Sunday is the London Marathon. For many it will be the pinnacle of their sporting lives; the ultimate goal of dedication they maybe only dreamed about. Now these people have been forced, against their wishes, to re-evaluate whether they should run; whether to worry, unnecessarily their families and friends. Why should they have to do this
I will be running; it will be my forth in five years, and I would never contemplate withdrawing. I do not scare easily, or fold when backed into a corner. I fight my cause, I stand up for what is good and true. However I also completely understand those who choose to take the easy and safe route in these circumstances. I accept their decision without question; I am a father, a son, brother. I feel that fear and feel the pain for those decisions. I sincerely hope that the actions of a few deranged excuses for humans does not spoil the future sporting goals of the many. I hope with all my heart that people return to run Boston. That no-one stays away from London. I believe, that the majority will return, and will turn out on Sunday. The runners, the volunteers, the supporters. It's what we do; it's what we have committed to, it's what we love. I even think it will be maybe the best London experience yet, because-we are stronger. We do not wish to be a part of the problems of the world when we pull on our run vests and lace our favourite runners. We take great personal offense at being affected. We pull together. 


I will wear my first time Marathon vest from the 2009 Flora London Marathon as my own li'l tribute to Boston; it is blue and yellow, the colours of their race, and has a special place in my heart as the best moment in my sporting life up 'til that time. It will be an emotional day, but I will run with pride, and solidarity for my fellow Marathoners.    

Be proud in what you do. Have faith in the will of the many.