For long distance runners, the Boston Marathon is the stuff of legends, dreams, and running bucket lists. In some ways, it’s the Super Bowl of the running world…not because it’s a competition–though it is–but because of the excitement and camaraderie that unites everyone at the start line. It’s a race you have to work for…because the only way in is to qualify or raise money for charities. Period.
Last year, my best friend worked her butt off to qualify for Boston. For the first several months of the year, she ran a marathon a month to make it happen. Each time the race started, I held my breath a little and waited for texts from her husband or some other form of live update. I waited for her to cross the finish line and see if she made it in time. And each time, I started making plans in my head for being her support staff on race day in Boston this year.
She missed qualifying by six minutes.
When the story broke this afternoon, I couldn’t help but think of her and her efforts to qualify…to say nothing of the people I know who live in Boston, the people involved in any way in the race, and the city itself which I so desperately love. I sent my friend a text to say how thankful I was that she didn’t qualify last year for this year’s race. Her response was, “Me too! 6 little minutes!”
In a world where things change in a matter of seconds, I am thankful for the time that has been extended because of those six minutes. I am thankful for the beauty of the running world and the ways in which we all find hope and peace and clarity and excitement and enjoyment and camaraderie in the sport. I am thankful for the ways in which people have responded. And I am thankful to love and be loved by such incredible people…and that I get to hug some of them a little tighter tonight or the next time I see them. Because of six little minutes.