finish line

Running scared? Not this year!

There are 36,000 official registrants to the Boston Marathon this year, 9,000 plus more than last year. Add in the unofficial runners, the wheelchair entrants, and the more than 1 million spectators and you get a security challenge of massive proportions.

Over the past year, since the tragedy at the finish line in 2013, runners have gone from outrage and anger through fear and uncertainty to resolution and determination. This marathon is to be a living breathing celebration of resilience and perseverance. There will be survivors of last years bombing at the finish line and many are running on their behalf.

Some people complain that too much is being made of this anniversary and that the national news should focus on something else.

Like what? The latest Kardashian headlines? Plot twists in Modern Family? Who killed who in Game of Thrones?

I am not a runner, but I am a New Englander. When the bombing happened last year I was not near the finish line or even near Boston. I was lightly following the race on twitter and on the radio when the unthinkable happened. Since 9/11, we have been especially anxious here, wondering when our open and generous nature would leave us open to the inevitable. The 9/11 terrorists came through my local airports, after all: Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts. But we still lead relatively complacent lives and are naive and trusting of strangers; I rarely lock my house or car, even now.

The idea that two ungrateful punks would try to rob us of our lives and our way of life, of our very core values, this does not sit well with us. Descendants of the Revolution, founders of our country, believers in free thinking freedom of religion and freedom for all, we are not to be bullied.

I am inspired and humbled by the courage of those involved, those who are returning to run again, to complete the course they might not have been able to finish last year. Their determination, already stronger than mere mortals, is greater than ever.

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This year, we are all from Boston, we are all running the 2014 Boston Marathon, and we will not be running scared.

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