Honoring Boston

I’ve read a lot of these posts, and originally, I wasn’t going to do one. Today, I got one of those weird feelings that compelled me to write. If you’re a writer, you know what I’m talking about.

I always leave my TV on while working, mainly for the noise. It was always too quiet for me inside the ACS Technologies’ office, so of course my own home, where it’s just me, is way too quiet!

I don’t usually pay too much attention to what’s on TV, but whenever someone mentions Boston, my ears turn up a little. While watching The View, I overheard one of the hosts (Whoopi) say this regarding Boston.

“Let’s all go next year and at least walk it”

Cringing, I felt absolutely disgusted. How dare anyone diminish the hard work that goes into training for a marathon, qualifying for Boston, and running a world-class, premier event? What a slap in the face to every marathoner there!

Not that I trust daytime TV hosts to know much, although I wish she’d gotten the facts straight before blurting that out on the air. Then, I took a step back…

praying_for_boston

Most non-runners don’t understand our sport- and sometimes, that’s our fault. We put weeks and months into training for races- running, cross training, eating right, foam rolling, stretching, reading training plans, and seeking advice from other runners.

If runners want our sport to survive, to grow, it’s up to us. I realized this when I started coaching for the Florence Track Club in 2011. One day, I won’t be running and competing, but someone will- and as a runner, it’s my duty to the sport to pass on that love- whether it’s to young children, older ladies training for their first 5Ks, people looking to relieve stress, or any new runner. When I started coaching, I realized… It’s not all about me.

My challenge to you, if you want to do something in honor of Boston, sign up for a local race.

rememberance_race

Sign up for a local 5K that supports a charity, school, someone suffering from an illness, or team. Local races may not have as many frills, but their causes depend on race proceeds. Skip date night this weekend, there’s your $20-25 entry fee.

If you’ve never signed up for a race- this is your time. You could try Couch to 5K, or not. You don’t have to. You can walk the entire distance- tons of people do. Listen to music, talk to other walkers, or just enjoy the beauty of nature. No one cares how fast or slow you’re going, except you.

If you’re last, no one will laugh. You might even get a standing ovation. The first place finisher of a race has the fewer cheerleaders, as everyone’s behind him or her. It’s lonely.

If you can’t physically run, volunteer. Most races have no trouble finding runners, but struggle to find those to man water stations, serve refreshments, or handle packet pick up.

If you already run, encourage new runners. Stand at the finish of your next race and cheer for those finishing after you. You like someone cheering for you, right? So do they, and they need it more than you- you’re already driven and passionate about running. The post-race beer will still be waiting for you.

You can do something- do it.

Join the community. Join the movement.

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22 Responses to Honoring Boston

  1. Thinking about Boston. Although I won’t be running anytime soon— I look forward to doing it in the future…. whether it is in a race… or down the road… I’ll always think of Boston.

  2. Steph says:

    Awesome post 🙂 I think that there’s a lot of disdain for the local races in the blog world, so this is great. Its nice to know that your money is going to help someone

    • Amy Lauren says:

      See, I’d rather do a local race. It’s cheaper, hometown feel, and I feel like my money actually goes toward the cause, rather than toward making a race an “event”. Obviously something like a marathon, that’s a little different because that’s an event anyway. It’s fun to do big races that are experiences too, but sometimes the small ones can be equally fun and you know you’re helping someone else and feel valued to be there, unlike just being another number (literally).

  3. Sean Newell says:

    Well said Amy!
    I have had a lot of mixed emotions about the events in Boston and I have found it hard to understand why someone would do such a horrible act of violence.
    It makes me mad that something that these runners trained so long and hard to just qualify for was taken from them. I don’t think that most people know what it takes to just qualify for the Boston Marathon and that most of the runners that didn’t get to finish the race were not your elite runners. I cant help but think that I would have been in the back of the pack struggling to the finish. This accomplishment was taken from these runners unfairly.
    I think the part that saddened and scared me the most is that the explosion effected the spectators. Family, friends and people that wanted to cheer on total strangers are the ones effected the most. When I ran the 1/2 in Savannah it was so cool to see so many people supporting us and cheering us on. Seeing my Mom, Lisa and getting a high 5 from Cameron at the half-way point made it special for me. I hope people don’t stop supporting these events and that they know how much it means to have them there.
    I have taken my lunch hour every day since Monday and used it to run. I figured that what better way to show the running spirit isn’t gone then to just run. I am running in the Angels Among Us 5K in Durham this weekend along with close to 5000 other runners/ walkers and judging by how quickly the attendance has been climbing the past few days i don’t think that people are scared to come out and run or walk. I am also happy to say that this will also be the first 5k for a very good friend who has been bitten by the running bug as well.
    I do think the running spirit will survive this and end up being stronger the ever.

    Sean

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I agree Sean- the running community is stronger than ever. Last night we had over 50 people RSVP on Facebook for a 2.62 mile run/walk that TrySports is hosting in honor of the victims. There’s also an informal 5K downtown on Sunday that’s been covered by local media outlets, just to show our support.

      Many non-runners do not realize how hard it is to qualify for Boston. And yes, many did not get to finish the race they started just because of the corrals they were in and their times (lots of people who qualify do not train as hard FOR Boston as they did to qualify- plus it’s a tougher race than the marathons many use to qualify).

      All I could think about when I realized spectators were the ones killed was how my mom and my husband waited at the finish for me at my half marathon and how they’ll be there if I ever do a full. My friend Brian ran the marathon and his son was there, the same age as the boy who was killed. It’s *still* weighing on my mind.

  4. what i love about this is the idea of running it and then cheering on all those that cross the finish line. i want to really do more volunteering and race cheering than I have done.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I always try to stand at the finish and cheer (granted I usually grab some water or something myself, then just head back there… I don’t immediately stop and cheer!).

      I figure I’m already at the finish, may as well stick around and wait on my friends and cheer em in!

  5. I could not agree with this post more. I actually listen to noise while working as well. I like to have the background noise.

    As far as Boston, I am obviously very upset by what happened but it upsets me even more that so many people have said “well I plan to just run a marathon in the next month or two” because well why not..I get that people want to show their support but still respect the distance and training.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I plan to run a marathon, maybe this Fall. But I was going to do it- or not do it, since I haven’t signed up- either way. This won’t have any impact on most people’s decision to (or not to) run a marathon. Most of those people probably consider a race of any distance to be a “marathon” anyway.

  6. I watch The View but I wasn’t able to catch that on tv when Whoopi said that. That’s just not right. But maybe they don’t know that you need to qualify for the race. I know a lot of people don’t know that. But still, as a public figure who does morning shows like that should at least do some research.
    I love local races. I actually just signed up to one here in our town. It’s going to be in June. I can’t wait. 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty obvious she didn’t know you had to qualify for it. It’s fine to not know, but I think they should’ve done a little research before saying it on TV.

      The local races are the best. I honestly wish I could do more of them. If it weren’t for money, I’d probably race every single weekend.

  7. I’m running all over the place! And I love each time my boot campers take the step to sign up for a local event, and the excitement they get when they cross their first finish line. Now I’m onto looking for some out of town races!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You do girly, between all the boot camps you really get around Charleston running all over this city and others like Summerville :). Good luck with your race too!

  8. runwkate says:

    Amy, I love that you wrote when you felt compelled to, and you didn’t go in for melodrama or even a ‘I was at x when I found out and…’. You’re right, it is up to us. I never thought of it that way.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Haha, if I wrote “I was at X when I found out”, it would be I was in my home/office. That’s where I almost always am and where I find things out, haha. Work from home problems :).

      I never go for the melodrama, hehe.

  9. Ima Mosier says:

    Great points regarding doing a local race.

  10. I will do what I can to support Boston, but will never step foot on the holy ground in which it represents until I earn my BQ. I was almost there with a qualifying time last month when I ran a 3:11:54 in LA, I need a 3:05 …

  11. Kara says:

    I love this post. When I first read that I was like HA! Yeah, just go walk Boston. Good luck with that. But you’re totally right. Not everyone “gets” all the hard work and dedication that go into BQing and it’s really nice that people want to get out there and do something and be active to honor the victims. I love your idea and will definitely be racing ASAP!!

  12. KrisLawrence says:

    Ouch, I completely would have cringed too. Clearly she has no idea what Boston means. Boston means sacrifice, hard work, and dedication…not a stroll through the streets. That’s why it is so important for us to stay on the positive side of Patriot’s Day. Thank you for this post!

  13. LilMysNinja says:

    I love this post! I pledged to myself to run a total of 26.2 miles for the week from Tuesday – Monday. I was up to around 17-18 miles avg per week so 26.2 miles was a challenge especially after just completing the Palmetto 200.

    I agree with you on the local races. I’ve not done a destination race other than Cooper River.

  14. it’s true! i didn’t even know boston existed let alone “qualifying” times until after i really got into running. however, i randomly found all the stuff myself thanks to my nerdy tendencies (back in the day on the coolrunning.com forum before they sold out to active.com) lol. but yeah, we definitely need to spread the fire!

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