As I write this I'm still in something of a state of shock about what happened in Boston yesterday. I was sitting at my desk when the New York Times app on my phone alerted me to the story. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon with live coverage from a Boston television station on in the background.
As though of y'all who read this blawg on a regular basis know, I'm a runner. I've run 28 marathons and ultras over the past 15 years but I have never qualified (nor gotten reasonably close to qualifying) for the pinnacle of American road racing - the Boston Marathon.
It is a race that every one of us who laces up our shoes and hit the pavement every morning aspire to. It is a dream that very few of us will ever realize and anyone who qualifies for it should savor every minute of the experience. But now, for thousands of runners, their memories of the 2013 Boston Marathon won't be of the satisfaction of crossing that finish line. Instead, they will always associate their moment in the sun with the tragedy that befell spectators near the finish line. Instead of happiness their memories will be of horror and sorrow.
And, for the thousands of runners still on the course, their dreams of crossing the finish line will remain unfulfilled.
For those of us who run these races for fun our friends and family line the course to cheer us on and to give encouragement when we need it. It was supposed to be a glorious day for them, too. To see their loved ones finish the Boston Marathon.
Now three people are dead, including an 8-year-old, and well over 100 are wounded. A day that broke with promise ends in unspeakable tragedy.