BOSTON (CBS) — As I sit down to write this, I’m not exactly sure how to begin.
In January, I made a commitment to write a column once a week to give my take on what’s happening in Boston sports, and Monday was supposed to be a great day for everything Boston sports.
The Sox beat the Rays 3-2, the Bruins were getting ready to take on the Senators, the Celtics were a day away from their final home game of the regular season at the Garden, and the 117th running of the Boston marathon, the city’s signature event, was under way.
People from all over the world flooded our streets to cheer on friends and family running to achieve their personal best, raise money for charity, or just finish the grueling 26.2-mile course. When the day began, no one could have fathomed something like this would happen. Some made it to the finish safely, but many didn’t, because four hours, nine minutes and 44 seconds into the race, the real world collided with the sports world.
I’m an avid runner and am active in Boston’s running community, so while I decided not to go down this year, it still feels surreal. I’m still sad and confused. I had friends on the course running and cheering. How could someone do this? Why? The person who did this didn’t just attack us; they attacked every country whose runners or spectators came to our city, a city to many no longer seems safe.
It was a cowardly act, and what did it prove? It proved you can’t defeat the spirit of Boston.
During my run today, with every stride I took, I couldn’t help but think of those who lost their lives, their families, the more than 170 injured, the media who were on scene, and all of the first responders and medical staff who didn’t think twice about running into the chaos to help save lives while putting their own at risk. How were they coping? How do you move past something like this? When is this going to stop? I couldn’t answer any of those questions.
But what I did realize was how well-prepared this great city was and how those on the ground reacted without hesitation to take control of a situation that was out of control. It’s surreal how life can change or end in an instant. All of the spectators and exhausted runners who crossed the finish should have been exuberant, but the new reality is many may never run or walk again and many will forever remember Boston as a scary place.
The events on Monday will forever be in our memory, but what we should remember is how so many people came together to help strangers. It was a team effort. Whether it was wheeling someone to a medical tent or opening your home to perfect strangers who were in need of a place to stay, something to eat, a warm bed or a friend, our city came together. We are a tough and resilient town, full of people who take care of each other.
We’ll get through this, but we’ll never be the same, and the Marathon will never be the same. And when you hear someone reference the Boston Marathon in the years to come, I hope you remember the act that occurred at 2:50 p.m. on April 15, 2013 does not define the race or the city. I hope you remember it as a day we came together to help one another. And like the race, it’s a time where we didn’t show our weakness, but our strength.
Tracy Clements is a weekend producer on 98.5 The Sports Hub. You can follow her on twitter at @clementine_12.