Proud To Be a Runner

Like most other runners – and most other humans – I am numb over what happened in Boston yesterday.

I am lucky that I was safely in NYC, and none of my friends or loved ones were among the victims. But there shouldn’t be victims. Not at the Boston Marathon, the nation’s oldest marathon and one of the most celebrated marathons. Where the entire city shuts down on a weekday. Where, if you can run fast enough to qualify for an entry, it is a privilege to be able to run. Where I would love to run one day.

I was a journalism major in college, and in times like these, I can’t tear myself away from the news coverage, watching the TV numbly, and idly scrolling through social media, trying to learn why. I saw Caitlin post something last night about thinking about those who support her at races, and I finally started crying. My mom.



(My hands were shaking too much the morning of my first marathon to pin my bib on; since then, it’s become our tradition for her to pin my bib on before a marathon.)

She’s been at the finish line of all three of my marathons, and I’m pretty sure she’ll be at the finish line of any other marathon I ever run. That could have been her yesterday, watching me. It could have been me running, or one of my friends. It hits really close to home. Too close to home.

I’ve read so many beautiful words in the past day or so.

Even Jezebel put aside the snark: “If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.”


From Allison’s Instagram.


Another beautiful photo.

Running has given me so much back in life in the last four years, and I’m sad for the loss of life yesterday at the Boston Marathon, but so hopeful for all the wonderful stories that have come out in the past 24 hours about people helping each other, and I’m more proud than ever to be a runner.

21 comments on “Proud To Be a Runner

  1. Cathryn

    I feel the same. Until yesterday I hadn’t realised how strongly I identify myself as a runner. These are my people, this is my tribe and I take this personally! I’m honoured to be part of this community.

  2. Jill

    Thank you for a beautiful post. I was at the supermarket talking to someone about Boston as I had lived blocks away from the first blast and was blessed to live in a dorm where I could see the marathon runners out my window.

    I was about to say to the woman – I don’t know why the parents took their child to the marathon and stopped in my tracks and thought Jill are you crazy, of course children should be there. When we stop doing things because of the acts of deranged individuals – they do win.

    Here’s to happier times and a return to the magic of the experiencing the triumph of the human spirit at all marathons!!

  3. Jennifer

    I have never ran a marathon nor do I plan to but I can relate to the feeling you had about how it could have been you and your mom. Hopefully something like this will never happen again.

  4. Sara

    Nice post! I really like the picture of all the marathon runners and how they can run faster than you and they don’t give up.

  5. mom


    Beautiful post and proud to be your mother! This was written from your heart and very true.

    This is truly a beautiful post, my heart goes out to all the runners and people watching their love ones. Thank God for all the people that were their and for their support.
    Thank God we were not their that day, but Yes, Theodora
    I will always be at that finish line waiting for you and
    giving my support when needed.

    Love you

  6. Christina

    Boston is a strong city. I heard there are a lot of tributes in the sports world for Boston this week. I believe the New York Yankees did one yesterday for the Red Sox.

  7. Dori

    It hits way too close to home. It is amazing how the running community comes together during tragedies. I’m so proud to be in this community.

  8. Ethan

    Informative Article! Good to see somebody who really knows what they are talking about and can additionally produce common sense blog for us the reader. Certainly looking forward to your next article.

  9. KD

    Excellent heartfelt post. In case you haven’t seen this yet there is a real grass roots effort coming together to gather runners and run a few miles on Monday in tribute. The NYC version meets at 6:30p Monday 4/22 at Tavern on the Green. Wear a race shirt or blue and yellow Boston Marathon colors. I’ll be there! #bostonstrongnyc on twitter. Many more cities are participating: more info at

  10. Jess

    I immediately thought about that too — about loved ones watching for their favorite runner friend or family member and being faced with tragedy and loss instead. IT’s scary and SO SO sad I just can’t even handle thinking about it for too long. It’s unavoidable though, it’s all around us, and all so very sad while at the same time seeing the beauty in the running community come alive has been amazing to say the very least.

  11. Christiane

    Although I am a cyclist, the bond between runners is the same as in most athletic sports.
    Tragedies like this bring everyone together and reinforce the determination that those who would wish to damage or destroy us will never win.

  12. Aunt Gerry Hilla

    yes very good report on what happened, least we forget all
    the other incidents that have happened recently; especially
    all those beautiful children andteachers who lost their
    lives to a similar situation.President Obama expressed almost
    the came comments you wrote…right on………………..

  13. janet scudieri

    Your post was beautiful and from the heart. Lets hope nothing will ever stop us from doing what we want to do, and show them who ever they are, they can’t keep us down. Knowing your Mother like I do she will always be waiting for you at the finish line. She is very proud of you, as we all are. Love Janet

  14. meg

    Thank you so much for the kind words about the Boston Marathon. Being a Bostonian myself, I have loved and adored and grown up with the Marathon. I was not at the Marathon this year, honestly because I wanted to watch the marathon and see how the elite runners ended, vs the usual fun festivities that come with going to the marathon.

    While I am not a runner runner (cant tell you the last time I ran an actual mile, but was a sprinter in high school) I do identify as a runner with the Boston Marathon. I took this attack personally and I can tell you did you to as a runner.

    Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and I know your support for Boston. :o) This country has gone above and beyond for Boston and it honestly blows me away. NY itself has gone completely out its way and has been so committed to helping the cops and military who were vital in catching these guys and I know we could not have done it without NY help.

    Thank you. It is so nice to read a blog I can relate to about this. It is not the easiest thing to articulate.


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