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Mike Benge Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:00 TWEET COMMENTS 3

The Runners' Web

Boston tragedy brings community together

Like most people, runners and non-runners alike, I met the news of the tragedy at Monday’s Boston Marathon with stunned disbelief.

Mike Burnstein on his way to a long-dreamed-of finish at Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. His euphoria, however, would be short lived (see Page 4).

Like most people, runners and non-runners alike, I met the news of the tragedy at Monday’s Boston Marathon with stunned disbelief. One of my son’s teenage friends captured the horror succinctly in a Facebook post: “Bomb a marathon? Why?”

While we trail runners sometimes diss road running and its monotony, the reaction of the running community to Monday’s tragedy at the king of road marathons makes me proud to simply call myself a runner. Not only did the tragedy link road and trail runners, it connected runners and non-runners alike.

I’ve never run 26.2 miles on pavement, but, the more I learn about the race, Boston (provided I could actually qualify) would be my choice. The following observations come from trail runners participating in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (For more accounts, please visit our Facebook page.)


IAN TORRENCE, 40, of Flagstaff, Arizona, is the lead ultrarunning coach at McMillan Running.

Accomplished trail ultrarunner Ian Torrence.

I was back in my hotel room when the bombs exploded. Had they done so an hour earlier I would have been in the middle of the horror. I'm still trying to comprehend all the events, the outcomes, and what it'll mean for every running event from here on out. Will the landscape of running be changed forever? My guess is that we will continue on as strong as ever, even stronger. Runners are a resilient bunch. If there were ever a sub-set of population that can rebound and grow stronger during a time of hardship, it'll be the runners.

I've asked myself if I'd ever return to Boston: Would this tragic incident keep me from participating in an event like the Boston Marathon ever again? I guess it wouldn't. I've considered returning to Boston next year just to spite the wicked who are responsible.

I'm a trail runner and a road runner. Though our sports may vary in a few details, the fact remains that we love what we do and enjoy whom we do it with. An event like this only cements these bonds. I saw many good friends while in Boston, both before and after the bombing. They were trail runners, road runners and non-runners, folks there only to support their loved ones in the event.



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