Skip to main content

Post-Boston

Design by Derek Cernak

I finished my first Boston marathon two weeks ago. A prestige, perhaps the most well-known marathon in the world. The marathon itself was great and the crowd support was unparalleled to anything I had experienced. I suffered the last couple miles and was reduced to a walk multiple times during the last two miles. While I wasn't happy about that, I could honestly say I had left everything on the course. The four-months journey, as mentioned in the last post, was great. Frankly, even more memorable than the race itself. 

An hour after I crossed the finis line was when everything changed. By the time I walked through the shoot to get my medal, space blanket, food, and drop bag, I was almost at my hotel. I waited in the room for my friends, Emily and Anji to come back. And they did. Not too long after their return, we started hearing sirens and that was when Anji got a phone call. She picked up and I heard, "What!?" My heart sank. That didn't sound good and I was right.

Something this sinister and tragic is difficult to comprehend. Shortly after we, as well as the whole world, got the news. SMS, facebook posts, and messages came flooding in from our caring friends and family. Just as we thought we had accounted the safety for everyone we knew, we realized we were wrong. I had no words.

I read an article a couple days afterwards about why the marathon still matters and that our finishes still matter despite the tragedy. I understand the point of view, but I don't feel that way. People have lost their lives and their legs in the bombing. It's not because I didn't feel right to celebrate a marathon finish and a 5-minute PR, I just couldn't find the joy to be celebrating. To all my friends who genuinely congratulated me, all I could mustered was an indifferent "thank you." Was that sadness? Maybe. I felt hallowed.

Run Your Heart for Boston (Photo by: Chris Page)
The Charlotte running community was as shocked as I was. Rob asked me if we could host an unsanctioned race to raise funds for the Gross family.  Of course we could. I did my usual thing in creating a Facebook event and support came in overwhelmingly. First was Vac and Dash who printed all our shirt, then came Davidson Timing. Then Charlotte Running Club, plus many more. If two men decided to use their free will to do something evil, the running community had shown me we could also response with our free will to do good. I'm thankful for that. Rob's idea eventually became a gathering of 300+ runners with over $17,000 raised. None of us could have done it alone, but together we did it. 

Strangely, I felt a bit of closure after today, though I know this is only the beginning for the Gross family. I also know our effort and support won't stop after today. I'm a firm believer that God could turn a curse into a blessing, and I pray that He would.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

24 Things about Hinson Lake 24-Hr Ultra

Here are things that went through my mind during the 24-hour run, somewhat chronologically:
"I get a decal, a glass, and a shirt!?" "Where's Peter?" Peter came the night before and set up camps. Sometimes I think he's gifted with 48 hours a day."Wow. People actually do plan to run the whole duration.""Mt. Hinson?" There's a section of the course with a slight incline. I'm sure it's a fitting name at some point approaching 100 miles. I didn't give myself a chance to find out."Haha" - upon hearing someone telling Sharon and I that we are on pace for women's 24-Hour American Record at mile 3."Maybe I should switch to my hybrid shoes." And I did. After the first 13 miles, I switched from my Altra road shoes to the Inov-8 TerraFly for a little more tread."25.84 miles? Eh, so close." 17 laps on the 1.52-mile loop - not quite a marathon."30.4 miles? Eh, another lap to make it a 50k."&q…

WV Trilogy - Part 1

My experience at WV Trilogy is unimaginable. It wasn't just the run or the scenery, though both are spectacular - but more so my journey before and during the run, the emotions, the learning, and the tremendous love and support I get from friends and family. The last three days are not only a running adventure, but an opportunity of personal growth and defining moments which will outlast adrenaline or results.

Each of the journal entry is written after the run on each day. I want to share it chronologically and hopefully could take you through my experience as I have experience it.

(Thurs) Oct 11 at 8:19 pm - 
In my dorm room, in bed. I'm still nervous about my shin splints and calf pain. Both legs were hurting this afternoon. There's nothing much I could at this point but just take everything as it is - pain, race, outcome... My job tomorrow is to simply show up and do what I can. I'm praying to open my heart and mind to whatever God has for me and remember that I'…

OSS/CIA 50M

Three days after my first 50 miler, the OSS/CIA 50M held at Prince William Forest Park, my legs are feeling great while my body is still catching up in recovery. The funny thing is, even though I ran almost twice the distance of a marathon, I felt much better than how I was after my last two road marathons. The slower pace and the softness of trails is much more forgiving than the hard pounding on asphalt/concrete. I was even able to run a couple easy miles to test my legs yesterday.
The OSS/CIA 50M Night Run by Athletic Equation was held at Prince William Forest Park in Dumries, VA, about 1.5 hour north of Richmond. Two things lured me into signing up for my first miler: One is obviously to get at least one 50-miler in before my attempt at the WV Trilogy this fall. Two is the location of the run. The Park is the birth place of OSS, the predecessor to CIA in the 1930s. On the brink of war, U.S. intelligence operations needed a centralized effort. In response to the need, a team of un…