When my young son came home from school on April 15, I had to share with him the sad news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I was gentle and only gave the information a nine-year-old needed to hear. I had the TV on and he walked into the room and saw the cleared scene of the crime. He immediately said, “Mommy, that’s exactly where we stood.”
I knew that the moment the news broke, my husband did, too. But it didn’t quite sink in until our child was impacted by the closeness of this terrible event. The second timeI ran Boston, my son and husband stood under the international flags and cheered for me as I finished. My son’s world changed on April 15, 2013. It changed in a way that broke my heart.
Erin Kreitz Shirey also had a similar sad moment with her little girl on April 15. Instead of being able to report the winning times, she had to tell her about the tragedy and how the race was stopped.
“What about the kids cheering on their parents? Mom, are they OK? Are the kids hurt?”, innocently questioned Shirey’s daughter that night. Her daughter, like my son, had cheered for her mother at many races as well.
We and many other parents struggled to talk to our kids about this event, especially our fellow running parents. We’ve all had our kids at races, standing on the curbs, hanging on the fences cheering. Now what are we supposed to tell them? (more…)
“We’re a tough lot,” commented Lacy J. Hansen about she and her fellow runners. She’s a friend, the running contributor here at DietsInReview.com, and a marathoner. Just as Stephen Colbert said in his open on Tuesday night, this is a people who run 26 miles on their days off. They’re hard core to nth degree.
So it’s no surprise that Boston Marathon finisherscrossed the line on Monday afternoon and headed directly to nearby hospitals to donate blood. And it’s no surprise that on Tuesday runners across the nation wore their souvenir race T-shirts to symbolically stand with their swift-footed brothers and sisters. In fact, #RunChat is rallying runners to do so again this Friday.
And it’s equally no surprise that this weekend you will be able to find a running event from sea to shining sea that will raise money for those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. More powerful than the money is that we will all see this incredible community pull together in solidarity once again, liken to the wave of support the cancellation of the NYC Marathon brought on post-Sandy.
This weekend, runners of all kinds will lace up once again to help their neighbors from as far away as LA and nearby as New York and everywhere in between.
Thetragedy that struck Boston yesterdayis just one more attack on the people, land, and values we all hold so very dear. And yet this one, at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, disrupted something so pure and so joyful that it feels like more of an attack on our hearts. It seems we as Americans are becoming all too familiar with the pain of these attacks, and yet the most promising part that we see time and again is the outpouring of love and support for our neighbors, our friends, our fellow citizens.
We never see humanity more at its best than when it’s at its very worst.
We know everyone wants to help and do something; it’s a natural reaction. It helps us grieve and feel of use, but more importantly, it helps those most directly impacted by the bombings that have claimed three lives and injured more than 115. Here’s how you can do something to help and support.
Wear Your Race Tees!
It’s a small and simple gesture that is uniting the running community at large today. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are full of people proudly donning their souvenir T-shirts from 5Ks to marathons they’ve completed in the past.
Donate to the Red Cross
You can donate funds to the Red Cross. Just before 6pm ET on April 15, the day of the bombing, the Red Cross announced their blood needs have been met; however, there is always a need somewhere as they explain in this press release. Follow @RedCross on Twitter for more current updates on specific needs this global organization may have. (more…)
Just seven tiny years ago, I couldn’t have told you how far the 26.2 mile beast was. I didn’t even know what 5K meant. Now, the race of epic proportions is just part of my daily life and vernacular. I used to think this made me unique, different from the crowd. I didn’t just run, I was a marathoner. In the seven years that I’ve called myself a runner, the world of running has changed pretty dramatically. I may not be as set-apart as I thought.
The registration numbers are growing tremendously as the marathon seems to be a “must-do” item on so many people’s “bucket lists.” I like the idea of more runners, but I’m not so sure the quantity increase is bringing more quality to the sport. Don’t hear me wrong, there’s room for many speeds in running, but is there room for people who don’t train properly? Is the marathon really a place for someone who doesn’t respect the distance? Bottom line: what’s happening with the marathon? What’s it becoming? And what are the side effects of all of these people taking on the once exclusive 26.2 mile race?
Research published in 2012 and reported by StrideNation.com stated that marathoners used to be one in a thousand. Now, for every 607 Americans, one of them finished a U.S. marathon in 2011. The annual report from Running USA also stated that since 2000 there has been a 47 percent increase in in the number of marathon finishers nationwide. These increases are being seen outside the charts and surveys. In 2011, the New York City Marathon had more than 47,000 finishers. This made for the largest race ever held.
Other large scale signs are being seen in what happens when marathoners attempt to sign up for the major races. In 2010, those attempting to register for the 2011 Boston Marathon crashed the race’s website and the event filled within hours. This race requires qualifying times, so not just any runner could sign up, but the number of eligible filled the slots quickly, something that rarely ever happened in recent past. This forced Boston to change their qualifying times and registration process. (more…)
Marathons are always memorable. The grueling task of traveling 26.2 miles on foot leaves permanent marks on our mind. While the thrill of crossing the finish line is often a favorite moment for all marathoners, those 26.2 miles can leave us with many other flashbacks as well. Marathoning can get messy, brutal, and downright embarrassing at times. Here are some of the most unique marathon moments from fellow runners across the country.
One of the most uncomfortable moments in my marathoning career occurred just feet after the 2011 Boston Marathon starting line. Runners had been lined up in corrals for some time with no bathrooms in sight, the first chance to go was in the brush just off the street before mile one. The brush was shallow and the runners were in a hurry. I’d never seen so many bare backsides in my life. Men and women alike were squatting and some very boldly doing more than number one right in plain sight. All I could do was look straight forward because they were everywhere!
April Reed of Wichita, KS was honest enough to admit being in a bad situation at the San Diego Marathon. “I peed in downtown San Diego right off the street in some low lying bushes. I think I came out of the bush before I really had my pants up.”
Jenny Poore of Chicago, IL explained how her bladder got the best of her at mile 22 during the Chicago Marathon. She could have stopped but she was having a great race so she just let nature take its course, down her legs. “I’m not ashamed. It was exhilarating. Just glad I don’t have a photo with water spewing everywhere. hahaha!” (more…)
The Fourth of July always marks a very special anniversary for me. It marks the day in 2006 that I ran my first race, a simple one mile race. I was never a runner prior to that summer. I only became a runner because my dad nudged me and ran that one-mile race with me. Neither of us could have guessed what that simple one mile would do for me or our combined fitness. However, the biggest surprise of it all was what running did for our relationship.
I love telling people that my dad, Randy, is 55. He doesn’t look it or act like it. He celebrated his recent 55th birthday by running another half marathon. I was so proud of him. His running career wasn’t always solid as life got in the way and the interests of his family became time consuming. However, when he heard I was attempting to run up and down my street without stopping at the age of 24, he suddenly took a renewed interest in the sport. I asked him about that time.
“Running was nothing new to me but I loved the fact you were thirsting for every detail there was to know about it that you could get from me. Before long I knew it was just a matter of time before you would become so good at it, I would no longer be the mentor and our roles would be reversed.”
Maybe he was right, his encouragement turned me into a real runner, something I feel very lucky to share with him. I was curious if he ever thought he’d share running with one his kids. (more…)
The clock is ticking! The most infamous marathon in the entire world is just days away. The 116th Boston Marathon is this Monday, April 16, and to prepare the Boston Athletic Association just released the names of the elite runners. This year’s race will no doubt be exciting. However, it’ll be missing some familiar faces as our native elites are storing up their energy for the London 2012 Olympic games.
The defending male and female champs from 2011’s race are returning to defend their titles on Monday. Caroline Kilel of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:22:36 last year. Just edging USA’s Desiree Davila by two seconds. Second place Davila and fifth place Kara Goucher won’t be found on the list this year as they are two of the three women representing the US this summer. They join their team mate Shalane Flanagan as the US women’s marathon team.
All eyes will be on male defending champ, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, on Monday. Mutai shocked the world by running a 2:03:02 last year. With that time, Mutai set the record for the fastest marathon in world history. The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. While there are disputes over giving Mutai the record due to course and wind conditions, the entire running world gives him the credit he’s due, regardless of any governing board. The man ran faster than any other human for 26.2 miles, he’s got big expectations placed on him for Monday. (more…)
It’s spring marathon season once more. How can you tell? All of us in training are turning into giant balls of nerves. In one week, the mother of all marathons, The Boston Marathon, will be firing the starting gun for the 116th time. Nearly 40,000 runners will set off on their 26.2 mile journey whether they’re ready or not. Dr. Jeff Brown has offered up 8 great mental tips to prepare for next week’s race, or any marathon coming up.
Dr. Jeff Brown is a Harvard Psychologist and an author. He is also the lead psychologist for the Boston Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. Dr. Brown is on Runner’s World Magazine’s scientific advisory board as well. Today he released a short video titled “Boston Marathon Brain Strategies.” The video shares eight brain strategies for marathon runners as they prepare to take on one of the toughest challenges any runner can take on.
As I’m less than three weeks out from my spring marathon myself, I had to laugh at Dr. Brown’s insight to the marathoners brain. He’s worked with us loons for years and he wasn’t above calling us “obsessive”, “competitive”, and even “irrational.” Yep, he knows who he’s dealing with. As marathoners we think our situation is unique and that our worries would alienate us. Dr. Brown pointed out that we all feel very similar emotions and fears as race day approaches. To combat some of those emotions, Dr. Brown provided eight mental strategies that are good to keep in mind from start to finish.
Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
Father’s Day is here, so I am compelled to share a story I have followed for years about Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Dick is 65 and his son Rick is 43. Their story begins when Rick was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and is rendered physically disabled. Dick and his wife loved and nurtured their son, ignoring the doctors that warned he would likely be mentally disabled as well.
In time their instincts paid off when they find that Dick is mentally healthy and sharp. He begins school and communicates using a computer. Years later while at school Rick learns of a race to raise funds for a classmate that had been in an accident. Rick asked his father to push him at the race so that he could help. (more…)
Clarence Hartley has lived a full life. He is 81-years old and has fought in both the Korean and Vietnam wars as a member of the United States Air Force and served in the military for 24 years. He also fought and overcame non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a form of cancer, and later, battled prostate cancer.
Hartley has a passion for running and when he was originally diagnosed, he thought of the obstacles that Lance Armstrong overcame for inspiration to keep going. Surprisingly, he didn’t start running until he was retired, and ran his first race at the age of 68. This year, at 81-years old, Hartley was the oldest entrant into the Boston Marathon. Hartley’s desire for running shows us all that you should never give up on your fitness goals.
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