Last Monday. A day that reminded us that time is measured differently dependant on what it holds within its minutes. We woke up early, always three hours behind the other side of this rock, and met at Kristin’s house to watch the Boston Marathon.
We made predictions and yelled at the TV screen between bites of pretzel bagels. We tracked the Oiselle runners on Twitter. Their names and times listed at each check point. The letters and numbers called each runner to our minds. We imagined their feet headed toward Boston. We imagined their faces, smiling or grimacing. In our mind’s eye we saw them run through Wellesley, past the Oiselle crowd at GettiGear, soaking in the cheers and thrill! I imagined my mama, Anne, there holding her sign and cheering. Where we’d always lined up every year that I lived at home.
After the elites finished, the coverage on TV petered off, and we all headed into HQ. We stole glances at Twitter during the Monday morning email checking silence. Suddenly strange tweets were popping up amid the runners’ excitement. An explosion. Two. A series of confused tweets and then photos I can’t erase. My entire body was cold and shaking.
I called my mama, she was crying, frantic. Saying that Lauren and Shanna had waddled off, both so pregnant, to try and get to the finish line and soak up the excitement. I called Lauren, for some reason I got through. She was shaken, scared and safe. Later she told me she was running through a stairwell in the elite hotel knowing the time to get out of Boston was right that moment. Before everything was shut down.
We texted and called every last one of our teammates and friends, and friends of friends until we knew they were safe. Our little Oiselle family was safe. It was a relief, but the thought of everyone that was not safe hurt my heart, it crawled into my skin like a fever chill.
Our week, like yours, was a heavy blanket. In times like these, it is important to look for the light and turn your face to it, but it is also okay to grieve. To be silent and to be sad.
Obama's words on April 18th were powerful. They made the most sense in the midst of the sadness, and they reminded me to remain hopeful.
“This doesn’t stop us. And that’s what you’ve taught us, Boston. That’s what you’ve reminded us — to push, to not grow weary, to not get faint, even when it hurts. We finish the race. And we do that because of who we are and we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick up.”
“Our prayers are with the injured -- so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again."
This running community amazes me everyday. Runners lift each other up in uncertain times, and carry hope for each other even when we lose it ourselves. We are honored to be a part of such a community in darkness and light.
Tonight we'll be running from Super Jock n Jill in honor of Boston. We will accept cash or check donations to be delivered to The One Fund Boston. Or simply come out to be a part of this great running community. Word on the street is the Brooks Beasts will be there too! Please visit our Facebook event for more information or to RSVP. Hope to see you tonight.
Oiselle team runners write about their experience in Boston:
Meghan Manaois: reflection and race report