Some thoughts on Boston, and how it is a mistake for runners to treat the tragedy as "our own".
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- A thoughtful post as always, most of which I agree with and some of which I do not. Life is complex.
Where I agree: we should not take this as a special affront targeting the running community. We hear "Boston Marathon Attack" but I'm sure the perpetrators thought no further than "large public gathering attack". It could as easily have been Mardi Gras or the Rose Bowl parade. We may never know what made Boston convenient for the attackers. So yes: this is an attack on the public at large, not specific to runners.
Where I might differ: So in response to a post on Twitter that has been widely circulated, I chose to get off the treadmill and run outside on Tuesday, and indeed to wear my Seattle Marathon shirt all day, including to my son's Cub Scout pack meeting that evening. Now in December when we had a pack meeting our Pack Leader made a point of mentioning Newtown in his opening prayer, and the topic was quietly discussed by many parents while the kids were occupied with their ornament-making activity. Tuesday night our Pack Leader made no mention of Boston in his prayers, and I got only blank stares for wearing my shirt and one puzzled question from a parent, "Oh, did you run the Seattle Marathon?" No mention of Boston. So while this is, and should be considered a tragedy for the general public, and indeed not just a national tragedy but an international tragedy (based on both those targeted and those who were fatalities), I don't actually get the sense that anyone other than the running community is taking this to heart. NPR was all Newton all the time for days afterwards. And I don't really fault them for that. This week they've had a half-hearted top of the hour news update, but not much else.
I could go on with examples, but Boston is just not commanding the public spotlight. I'm a more than a little offended by that, and I have the natural reaction that I suspect many other runners do, which is to turn inwards to the one community that really takes this tragedy to heart: other runners.Apr 18, 2013
- Fair comments Mark, and well thought out. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have understood the race shirts had I not seen it mentioned on social media, so I understand a bit why one might be confused. And I think the degree of coverage and attention Boston gets depends on the source - Fox News for one is focusing very heavily. This is unfortunately where politics comes into play (and why Newtown, while tragic, took on even greater meaning and gained greater attention). Now that the suspects have apparently been identified, politics will begin to take over this tragedy as well.
No doubt that the bombing had more impact for runners than for many others. But unfortunately I don't think we can "force" others to have more sympathy than they naturally feel. So I guess the post serves as a warning not to try to do so - if we need to turn to our own community to mourn or try to understand, then I guess that's to some extent natural and expected.Apr 19, 2013
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