Monday's Boston Marathon should have been about the three man battle between Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa, and Gebre Gebremariam against Kenya's Micah Kogo, over the last 600 meters down Boylston, and Kenya's Rita Jeptoo winning the women's title seven years after her victory in the 2006 edition.
Unfortunately, the battle up front will forever be a minor footnote after the bombing near the finish line.
In all of my years running races as a youth at distances from 30 yards to the marathon, I've learned that you don't dare tell a runner that they can't do it, and that runners will find a way to always move forward.
This photo of 78-year old Northwest masters legend Bill Iffrig (photo by John Tlumacki, Boston Globe) who was knocked down short of the finish at Monday's Boston Marathon, will forever be one of the lasting images of what should have been a celebration of all that is good about the sport, but instead turned to a day of tragedy that ended the lives of three people, injured hundreds, and changed the lives of countless others.
Bill, who incidentally is a pretty damn good runner (he ran 3:50:33 at the Skagit Flats Marathon on September 9th to qualify for Boston), got up afterwards, and crossed the line in 4:03:47.
You, the readers of this blog, are part of a large worldwide community of runners, and I know that whether you're a 10-flat sprinter, a sub-4 miler, or trying to get rid of that last 30 pounds from years of inactivity, that you run with joy and a sense of purpose, no matter what the ultimate goal.
As you go for your run today, don't give in to the fear that running isn't a safe activity. Don't let the threat of terrorism take away your sense of purpose when you run, and most importantly, don't let it take away who you are.
Runners find a way to hurdle obstacles. This barrier is no different.