Monday, April 22, 2013

Look For The Helpers

Last Monday morning, I watched the Boston Marathon online before going out for the afternoon.

I couldn't believe it when I returned home to learn of the news of the bombings.

So many stories have been written and shared since then, but the favourite quote I read was from Mr. Rogers:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping"
From first respondents to competitors to spectators, countless people helped others last Monday.

To see examples, all you have to do is google Boston Marathon helpers and there are numerous articles detailing those who helped while facing adversity.

Yesterday, Toronto held the Yonge Street 10K run. It starts a block from my house and I have often gone to watch the start.

Seeing runners wearing special bibs reading "Runners United In Support" made this Yonge Street 10K more memorable and special.

Race director Alan Brookes who was in Boston last Monday (and London during the week) spoke at the start of the event saying that the spirit of the marathon and running would not be diminished. He said that "while we are still very much in shock and sadness, the whole community, globally, seems to have come together in shows of support and it’s wonderful that we have the opportunity in Toronto". There was then a 30 second moment of silence for Boston before the start of the event. 

The elite runners taking the start included Olympian Eric Gillis (red sleeves and black vest near the left). He would finish the race in 2nd place behind Kip Kangogo (black shorts white vest - 2nd from the right). Click here for a race recap.

The women's eventual winner Lanni Marchant is seen to the left and behind Eric.

Over 7500 runners ran the race. It was inspiring to see so many fit and happy people ready to challenge themselves. 

This is the 4th group starting.

The first group that started were the handcycles:

Unfortunately at the London Marathon yesterday, the wheelchair athletes did not start first. This in part lead to Canadian paralympian (and 2012 Boston Marathon champion) Josh Cassidy being involved in an accident when the 2012 Olympic women's marathon winner veered left at a watering station into the path of Josh who was in the process (along with multiple other wheelchair athletes) of passing the group of women leaders. The accident ruined both their chances of winning the race, but luckily not their season or careers.

The London Marathon paid tribute to Boston as did the Vancouver Sun Fun Run which saw over 48000 runners participating. The city of Boston will pause today at 2:50pm to mark the moment of the bombings a week ago.

Running (and races) are happy events where many people achieve their dream of simply completing the race or reaching a personal best. They share their achievements with family, friends and supporters. Continuing to run and pursue their passion is another way that these runners are helping everyone recover from the Boston bombings. 

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