Let be honest for a moment sports moms and dads—when we were kids running was just how we got from point A to point B the quickest. We didn’t do it to get (or stay) in shape, we just ran because that’s what we did. And it was awesome! Think about how many playground games are running based—tag, capture the flag, sharks and minnows, ghost in the graveyard, kick the can, and dozens (if not hundreds) of variations of these games and more. For a while running wasn’t thought of exercise or as punishment (some coaches love to threaten their teams with extra laps!); we just ran because we could, because we were kids, and because our own parents kicked us out the house when we had too much energy and time on our hands.
At some point running stopped becoming something we just did and became a chore or a means to an end. But there are still those among us that love to run for the sheer joy of running. They marvel at how far their own two feet can carry them. And although most of us will never run one ourselves, marathons remind us of the days when we ran just because. Marathons are a celebration of the unbelievable machine that is the human body and the amazing power of human spirit. After all, what other animal on this planet gets up to run 26.2 miles for the heck of it? There is no lion trying to eat us that we have to out run, nor are we trying to catch our own dinner anymore. Marathons are about running for the sake of running itself.
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and is arguably one of the best known road racing events worldwide. Every years tens of thousands of runners from across the globe and hundreds of thousands of fans and spectators line the streets of Boston and neighboring towns to cheer on the world’s most elite runners, as well as their moms and dads, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, and total strangers as they do something amazing…just because they can.
The tragic events at the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon have dealt a shocking blow to all of us, runners and non-runners alike. The fact that someone would use a venue like the Boston Marathon, which celebrates friendly competition and human excellence, to inflict harm upon innocent spectators is heart-breaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends and the city of Boston as they strive to pull themselves together again.
Let us remember and honor the victims with donations to The One Fund, started by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Or schedule an appointment with the America Red Cross to donate blood or platelets. There are even stories of Boston Marathoners finishing the race and then running an additional two miles to the Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood. And last, but certainly not least, let’s all get up a go for a run this week. Even you hate running, even if you’ve never run a mile since high school when they made run. Sign up for a 5k, a 10k, a marathon of your own. Get up and go run with your family, your friends, and your dog—just because you can.
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