As I was originally drafting this post for the blog, preparing to explain how impressed I was with the top finishers at the Boston Marathon this morning, I read about the explosions at the finish line via my Twitter feed. It goes without saying that this is a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with those injured and their families. But I knew I couldn’t continue writing my post as-is. It wasn’t about me anymore.
In light of this event, I began to rethink how I wanted to approach this post. Of course, I’m still in awe of the physical strength and endurance of Lelisa Desisa and Rita Jeptoo, the top male and female finishers who completed the course in 2:10:22 and 2:26:25 respectively. But I’m also in awe of all those participants who did not run away from ground zero of the bombing but instead ran towards it, offering help to those injured.
For every one person who wishes to destroy, 100 rush to help heal and rebuild. That’s the human race: our angels outnumber our devils.
— Leonard McCoy (@BonesMcCoy) April 15, 2013
I was deeply moved to read of reports of marathoners crossing the finish line only to head straight to local hospitals to donate blood to the victims, and it made me stop and reflect.
Earlier this morning, I had fully intended to register for the Big Sur Half Marathon in November. I figured if the people in Boston could run 26.2 miles, then I could commit to another 13.1.
But what I ultimately decided was also based on the runners at Boston. Instead of the Big Sur Half, I’ve begun the hunt for more charity races. If any of you have suggestions for California ones, please let me know! Additionally, I’m recommitting to my New Year’s Resolution to donate blood.
I don’t feel any of these things make me a better person by any means, but my hope is that each of us will respond to this horrific event in a way that contributes good to humanity instead of dwelling on the negative. In the wake of tragedy, it’s easy to focus on the darkness that comes with human nature, but if we can learn anything from the runners at Boston, it’s that we don’t stop when faced with evil, we take it as a reminder that there’s so much room to do good.
I’m seeing a lot of people posting that humanity sucks. I disagree. The bomber sucks. The “humanity” is the outpouring of help and support.
— Rob DenBleyker (@RobDenBleyker) April 15, 2013
And yet, at a time when words fail most of us (even a writer like myself who makes a living off my words), comedian Patton Oswalt was able to offer some very inspiring words.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 15, 2013
Looking for more ways to help? TakePart.com put together this list of things you can do to help victims of the explosions.