I remember it perfectly. I was walking around the Farmer’s Market with Tiffany. I had been asking about going there for months now. The idea of getting fresh fruit and veggies for cheaper than I can get them in the grocery store, especially since I have been working on changing my diet to less carbs and gluten. We were walking around making decisions about what to purchase, and I was on my phone going back and forth with work about Shredder Day. The usual on a day of a big event at work. I had the day off, but I was there from 5:30am – 10:30am volunteering.
That’s where I was when I got the breaking news alert on my phone.
I stopped in my tracks, muttered an obscenity and looked up at Tiffany.
“What?” she asked. I stared at her wide eyed and then looked back down at my phone.
“Explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line,” I said. She stared back at me wide eyed.
“How long has it been?” she asked, pulling out her own phone. She had two people she was close with in Boston running the marathon. I didn’t know it at that time, but there were about 30 people from Jacksonville running the Boston Marathon, including a man I respect highly Paul McRae. I first met him at the Krispy Kreme Challenge and some day I will be good enough to join his group: Personal Running Solutions.
I dropped Tiffany off at her place after we left the Farmer’s Market, and started my drive home, my eyes on my phone more than on the road. I was looking for updates from friends, from news organizations, from anyone who would know what the hell happened. I got a phone call from my eye doctor about participating in a trial study. I went in, and the talk of the office was the Boston Marathon Bombings.
By the time I left the office, I knew that Paul and all the other Jacksonville runners were safe, that at least 2 people were already dead, more than a hundred hurt, and thousands panicked, scared and broken. I got home and the first thing I did was turn on Channel 4. I had read on Twitter that the president was going to speak at 6:10 pm and I wanted to be there to hear what he had to say. I was boiling water to make gluten free pasta to go with the sausage tomato sauce that Brian had made earlier.
I heard something about new video, and ran out of the kitchen and watched the video. It captured the first explosion. I gasped, my heart racing and my eyes getting teary. Oh, my God…it was in the stands. I thought. All those people…. I actually missed what the president had said because Brian came home and we started to talk about it. I asked him what he thought, explained that it scared me and while he has a very approach than I do when these things happen, he allowed me to panic. He held me as I cried a little bit.
Today while at work, we’ve been uncovering more and more details about the bombing. They were in pressure cookers and filled with BB’s and nails. 3 people have been killed, and there are thousands of runner bags unclaimed at the finish line. Only two bombs, no others were found and the fire at the JFK Library up there was unrelated. I sit here wearing my Gate River Run shirt from a few years ago. Eric wore his, and Kristi wore her Never Quit shirt.
We are runners united. You hurt one of us, you hurt us all. We will not be destroyed by random acts of violence and we refused to be stopped. I stand united with Boston and those who where hurt and killed at the race that all runners aspire to qualifying for. We all do.
I ask my friends and fellow bloggers to do this: Go donate blood. Go donate money to the families who have been hit by this tragic event. Wear a race shirt today, and go run a few miles in their honor and memory, something every runner is always appreciative of. Sign up for the RunJunkeez Virtual run: Runners United to Remember.