This morning around 6:30 am, hundreds of runners gathered at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. The run they were about to embark upon may not have been the most challenging in some of their lives, but it was definitely one of the most important.
This was a run in honor of those who lost their lives, their limbs, and their loved ones in Boston on Monday. It was a run to show support for the city and the country, and to prove that Americans are not afraid.
Endurance athlete, adventurer and marathoner Ted McDonald was at the event, eager for a way to show the people of Boston he was thinking about them.
“The Boston Marathon bombings were more emotional for me than I would’ve expected,” he said. “Knowing what it takes to complete a marathon and knowing the effort, sweat and miles that you have to put in to finish that distance brings up emotions for every marathoner. You are very vulnerable at the end of the race, completely depleted but overcome with emotion, invigorated yet exhausted—and for someone to strike at that moment goes beyond any sense of rational thinking.”
Beyond that, there is a bond people share when they’ve completed a race—regardless of whether it’s a fun run for charity or a 100K, you know the feeling of crossing the finish line, and looking around at the people who completed the journey along side you. This bond was probably even stronger this morning, when the runners united for a cause so much bigger than sport.
McDonald explains, “The camaraderie exhibited this morning goes beyond words. As runners, we all know we push ourselves to achieve certain goals. We strive to keep ourselves healthy, sometimes we run in honor of lost loved ones. The reason doesn’t matter, when we are all together, we share a bond.”
Before the race, the runners shared a moment of silence and a big hug, and one of the organizers said, “Marathoners are not the group to fu@% with.”
McDonald says the support from the community was invigorating. They were trailed by news helicopters and received a ton of supportive beeps and waves from cars along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. “[We share] a bond of striving to be better human beings, to be examples for our community, by simply putting one foot in front of the other.”
Love to Boston, all the way from the West Coast and on.
Photo courtesy of Ted McDonald