Like most people, I am shocked and saddened by the terrible events that occurred during yesterday’s Boston marathon. And I’m baffled by the location of the attack. There’s a message going viral on Facebook that says, “If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target.” That quote was written by Mighty Brighties on FB. I couldn’t agree more and I’d say the sentiment extends to half marathoners, 10k and 5K runners…and the relatives, friends and total strangers who care enough to cheer us on.
Speaking of spectators, I read a nice post dedicated to them. If you’d like, you can read it by clicking on this link.
The article made me think about all of the strangers who’ve lined race routes and cheered for me as I lumbered by. I remember a quick conversation I had with a guy who was cheering us on during weather so severe that many marathoners were not allowed to finish the race. I told him I couldn’t believe he was out there. He told me that I was the one with courage. That was priceless. I also feel a lot of gratitude for the countless race volunteers who’ve manned water stations and pointed me in the right course direction.
While I’m registered for next weekend’s Country Music Half Marathon, I can’t run it (or even walk it) due to the recent foot surgery. But yesterday’s attack in Boston has caused me to want to give back in a tangible way. Tonight I logged on to the CMM website and signed up to volunteer. I’ll be at the finish line between 5:30 and 11:00. I hope to be an encourager.
And there is another reason I want to volunteer. My guess is that all upcoming marathons are now on heightened alert. There may be registered participants and volunteers who are now afraid to show up. I can’t blame them but I also can’t allow myself to live in fear.
I want to volunteer as a way to prove to myself that evil can not win.