Mayor Giuliani addressed the 25,000 runners with an emotional speech. Nine months of training for my very first marathon in my hometown, the city I love, the event was coming to fruition. November 4, 2001, two months after 9/11, was a day of tears and triumph as I ran through the five boroughs of New York witnessing cheers, music and inspiration from the sidelines. It will be a day I will never forget along with the tragedy that our city faced that same year.
Fast forward to 2013, my dear friend Stacey joined us for snowshoe train runs in 20 inches of snow, long runs when she had aches and pains and put the time in for her training when she had other serious personal matters on her mind. Her day for triumph was April 15,, 2013 at the Boston Marathon, the one city she has not yet conquered.
I found out about the first plane hitting the first Twin Tower while driving to work. Yesterday, I heard the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon in the car as well. I was in shock both times, it didn’t compute. By time I arrived at work September 11, 2001 the second plane struck and life as we knew it changed from that moment on.
Within a few minutes of hearing about the explosives at the Boston Marathon, I realized I had to try and contact Stacey. My first attempt failed, as I received an “all circuits are busy” message. Within a few minutes I received a text from her that she finished, got her belongings, saw the explosion and was en route getting out of the area. I turned to Facebook as I knew my friends and the Running on Long Island and More group members would want to know that she was ok. Likes and relieved comments poured in.
Today my husband and I joined in the “Runners United to Remember” virtual event. Started by the folks at Run Junkees, this tribute run spread across Facebook rapidly, with over 60,000 people responded “going” at the time this was written. They encouraged all to go out and run in honor of Boston…
This is a virtual run event, which means you can run (or walk) any distance, anywhere and at anytime. It is intended to both honor the victims as well as display an act of unity and solidarity in the running community. This was an event dreamed up by fellow Runners and you are welcome to invite anyone to join. THIS IS NOT A FUND RAISER. PLEASE be careful of scams (already) of people claiming to be raising money. A special thanks to TJ from VO2 the MAX for creating the “race” bib. Once you’ve completed your unity run you are welcome to post a picture to the RunJunkEes facebook page (please do not email pictures). Other runners are suggesting to wear a race shirt as well, so if you have one and you’d like to do so that would be great.
We hit the same trails on this beautiful sunny day where only a few months ago we snowshoed. Several miles in, the song “Home” came on my shuffled “running” playlist. This is a song our favorite cycle instructor and friend Tripp Doherty deemed as Stacey’s song. She was the first to suggest the song to Tripp and it became a theme regular as many of us look to the classes for comfort. I smiled and officially dedicated my run to Stacey and to Boston. New York and Boston, We Stand United.