Yesterday, while cleaning my bedroom, I found a ribbon I had been handed on National Running Day while running Central Park last year. Printed in Boston Marathon colours, it simply says ‘Runners Unite’.
The message could be read in a couple of different ways, but I know, however rather than being taken as an order, or a plea, it is read in a far more matter of fact way: runners DO unite.
Regardless of the fitness fads that come-and-go, backed by huge organisations proclaiming to provide the best community or support, I have never experienced anything quite like the running community.
With running, there is no membership fee, no single approved clothing line, you don’t get looked down upon if you don’t buy the correct supplements, or eat paleo - all you need to do… is run. There’s beauty in the simplicity of it all.
I was at Boston the day before the marathon last year and was overwhelmed by the pride emanating from the blue and yellow clad athletes. Boston felt more like an athletes’ village than a city and while I’m not the calibre of runner who could hit the BQ time to run it, I felt truly inspired by the talent that surrounded me. There was something more electric about the reaction of the runners knowing how hard they had worked to earn their places at the start line.
I can’t imagine how emotional it must feel to run the marathon this year, but I do know that if there was ever a support group you’d want around you at a time like this, it’s one made up of your fellow runners.
So, with that, good luck to everyone running Boston today!