Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letters on the Run

I had every intention of a rant about yesterday's events, but instead I am choosing to focus on the good. By focusing on the good, we keep the Boston Marathon Monster from winning. 
So I have written a series of letters to everyone: 
Runners, volunteers/spectators, race directors/staff, non-runners, and even a letter to the person responsible for the events yesterday.
Please share this, let's show 'em what we're made of.
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Dear Runners, 
I don't know you, but you are my family. Some of us have met, while most of us haven't; you are still my family. If you run 6 minute miles, or 14 minute miles....you are a runner, and I commend you. You make the choice to put one foot in front of the other, while others choose not to. Some of you run early while the world is still asleep, I hope you can still find peace on the run. Some of you run for health, some run to get that 5k time, others are chasing the distance of a marathon, and there are those chasing the dream of Boston. Please do not let yesterday's events change this. Do not change your run, use this as motivation to run.

Runners are amazing people, we are a tight knit community off people who understand each other. We cannot be scared, we must band together and push forward, THEY WILL NOT WIN. Please take the time to thank yourself for the hard work you put in, thank your body for holding you up, thank your family for supporting you, thank the volunteers for being there without reason, be grateful for the run. We were given this ability for a reason, and now more than ever that reason is clear. We run for a good cause, we run to prove that despite the bad things, good can still come.

For those of you who worked for months training (and years qualifying), and didn't get to finish, there are no words to describe how sorry I am. I hope you can find a way to move forward, and come back and get what you worked for (you earned it, don't let anyone take that from you). To those of you who had finished prior to the attack, please do not downplay your accomplishment. You ran 26.2 miles, you earned your right to be there and you did it, no one can take that from you. I know that your memory of that Boston 26.2 will be tainted but please never forget how amazing you are for getting there and doing what you went to do. To those of you still hoping to qualify for Boston, don't stop trying. I, along with thousands of others will still be there next year. I worked so hard to get my BQ and that will not be taken from me or the many others that have a journey like mine.

Being a runner means pushing through when things get tough, it means training while others are working or sleeping, it means having faith in our bodies when all else fails. The finish line is a sacred place, for celebration and relief, we cannot let that be taken from us. Continue to push to the finish without fear, dig deep and use what you have, let that line be yours to claim. It takes hard work and dedication to accomplish the things that we as runners do, it's very important that we show the world what we are made of. We are made of resiliency, and pride, and strength that comes from deep within. As runners we tend to use running as a release of the day-to-day grind, but our true colors show when things get hard, we run TOWARD the trouble to help those in need (thank you to all who ran and donated blood).

 I want to say thank you to my family of runners, for giving me a place to call home. Thank you for supporting me without knowing me, and pushing me when I need a boost. Thank you runners for giving me hope and faith in humanity, and showing me how amazing this world can be. To my fellow runners, thank you for being my family. Never give up, never lose hope, and never stop running.

Love always,
Laura Anderson
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Dear Spectators/Volunteers,
Thank you for being the glue to our sport. You hold us together when we want to fall apart. You give us water, and we throw things back at you in return. We don't say thank you nearly enough, and I regret to say you are taken for granted. You wake up early like we do, to stand there in all conditions simply to tell us where to go, and cheer for us along the way.

 Most of you are runners and/or family members of runners. Thank you for enabling us to run, helping with the housework, watching the children, allowing us to spend hours on our feet away from the house. Thank you for understanding our complaints, our excessive eating, the whining and the icing. Thank you for putting up with our moods, as the stress of training can sometimes be a lot to handle. Thank you for the signs you make, and the cheers you yell, thank you for losing your voice for those you don't even know. Thank you for supporting us, and honoring us, and being there.

You too, are part of the running family, and we could not function without you. Thank you for your time and effort, I promise to be more grateful and to give back just as much as you do.

Sincerely Grateful,
Laura Anderson
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Dear Races/Staff,
Thank you for giving us places to run, places to be ourselves and put our hard work to good use. Thank you for keeping us safe (we in no way blame you for the events that happened yesterday), protecting us on the roads for whatever the distance may be. Thank you for finding sponsors so we can engorge on massive amounts of water, and bananas and food during and after we finish. Thank you for making medals for us, honoring our accomplishments.

You organize, direct us and make it possible for us to do what we love to do. I'm sorry if we get mad at you, frustrated with fees or registration processes, I'm sorry we don't always understand what happens behind the scenes. You do amazing jobs putting together races around the world, facilitating places for our family of runners to call home. You put in the time and the effort to make things go as smooth as possible, and you deal with us who may be less than pleasant when things don't go our way. I promise to try and be more aware of the process, more patient with the process, and more grateful for all that you do.

Thank you for making the streets our home,
Laura Anderson
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Dear Non-Runners,
I know you do not understand why we do what we do, or why we love running the way we do. You question our sanity, we complain about the pain after a hard workout but we still go back for more. You don't understand why we pay to run races, or spend the money we do on running related things. We know you don't even like to drive as far as we run, we have heard it all before. You question our choices to make races into vacations ("That's not a vacation!"), to travel to run. You don't understand the money we spend on shoes, or the different gear we have that makes you scratch your head.

We run because we love it, we need it and it is part of us. We do not run because we think it makes us better than those who don't we run because it makes us who we are. We know you don't understand, we aren't asking you to. If we were on the outside looking in, we wouldn't understand the oddities of the close knit running family either.

What I do ask is that you please respect our family. Please respect us, watch for us on the roads, help keep us safe, and please don't make fun of our lifestyle. Our choices may not make sense to you but they make perfect sense to us. You have your family too, your blood relatives, your football fan families, your video game families, your bar crowd families, your work families, we may even be part of some of those too. We are all in this world together, and we can't be divided, we must stand together and fight the evils and show how strong we are together.

Respectfully,
Laura Anderson
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Dear Boston Marathon Monster, 
It is with great pleasure that I inform you that you have failed. Runners are the closest tight-knit group of people you will ever meet, and just created the largest most powerful enemy, you couldn't even imagine.

I was not there, but my family was. I had blood relatives there, friends whom I call family, and runners I have never met for whom I have more respect for than I will ever have for you. You hurt my family, you shouldn't have done that, and I promise you will regret this decision. I am only one person and I will never meet you, please count your blessings for that. You messed with my family, and their families and I do NOT take that lightly. You are a disgusting coward, you are a failure. You will not be glorified in the media, instead you will see the band of runners uniting against you.

The sanctity of this sport, this sacred event, and the power of the finish line are wounded. Time will heal, support from our running family will heal. You know who wont heal? The man whose child you took, an innocent child there to watch his hero do something amazing that you could never do. That man also has another child to take care of, and a wife in critical condition. They will never heal, but they have the love and support that you will never know.

You are a terrorist (no matter where you are from), just as the U.S does not negotiate with terrorists, neither do I. I along with so many others will be at Boston on April 21, 2014 running from Hopkinton to Boylston street, and I will not be afraid. I will run, and I will support every single person there that I can.

You have not and will not win this. We are family, we love and support each other, what do you have? A cause? I call your bluff, no cause is worth this, no cause is more important than innocent human lives. You set these bombs near the finish, where there would be more people, and more media coverage, you clearly want attention. I'm sorry you don't have a family to love you, or support of friends, I am sorry you feel neglected, I am not sorry for the walls that will be closing in on you. You are a terrorist, did you say that when you were a kid? Something  happened to you somewhere down the line, because no sane person would do this. I hope you have a hiding spot better than Bin Laden did, because in my book, you're no better than he is, and we will find you. So I am going to tell you to do something that we do every day, RUN.

Deepest Hatred,
Laura Anderson
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Saw this online and had to share. Says it perfectly.

Thoughts & prayers: You are NOT alone.
For those of you who took the time to read this long post, thank you.
I ask that you please share this with whoever you can. 
We need to stand together and show the world how amazing our family really is.




20 comments:

  1. We will stick together...we will run again! See you in 2014!

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  2. Love what you did in writing these letters! I found myself nodding a lot :)

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  3. This is incredible. I'm so happy you wrote them. I hope the message spreads far and wide.

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    1. Thanks for reading, I hope it spreads too! People need to understand our family is unstoppable!

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  4. This is such a great post and I am so glad I was able to read it sooner than later, it has literally put such a big smile on my face. I am in such agreement with everything you said. We are runners. We are nonrunners. We are a community and a strong community.

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  5. Love everything about this. So well stated.

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  6. Laura I just love this post... you & Hollie have published my favorite posts that are so POWERFUL and applicable to the world at large re: Monday's events. Truly beautiful words were written. <3

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! Thanks so much!

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  7. I LOVE that first graphic. Love it. What a great post; thanks for sharing.

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    1. Glad you liked it! And that graphic makes me laugh every time I see it. Those men were stupid, they chose the wrong group to target! (NOT that I want them targeting anyone!)

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