by: Oliver Layco
Running is something the majority of people greet with a grunt or sigh. Those who run do so for any number of reasons. Personally, running is a release for me; it’s also something I know everyone can’t do. I suppose can’t is the wrong word; rather, running is something they won’t do. Running is the simplest sport there is, yet it is also the hardest of them all. People who limit themselves to the gym are truly missing out on a different experience. Even those who run on a treadmill aren’t fully experiencing running until they find themselves in the middle of a field or going down a road. This provides a sense of community for those who do choose this life. Whether a friendly nod or lending another runner some water, we all understand each other’s struggle no matter how big or small. Another thing is we are always open to welcoming new runners into our world.
When news of the Boston bombing broke last year, it hit me hard. I don’t know anyone that was directly affected by the attacks, but there was a part of me that broke when I heard the news. Finishing a marathon, especially one as prestigious as Boston, is a feat in and of itself; for some runners it could even be the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today nothing is safe from the madness. Running is one of my ways to mentally escape any problems that I am facing. To hear that it has been taken away from me was heart breaking. It was just that past summer that the dark sanctuary that we call a movie theater was taken from me. And now with this, I was running out of places to escape to.
However, like that fateful shooting in a Colorado theater, I chose to fight on through it. I chose not to stop running because that would accomplish what the attackers wanted. I continued watching movies and I definitely continued to run. In the process I became a better runner than I have been in years. There was a certain motivation that’s been pushing me to fine tune my craft that I’ve worked on for the past 9 years. Running a marathon is still my ultimate goal, but now that marathon has to be Boston. Sure, I would still love to run the New York marathon or Los Angeles or even some international ones, but I now have an attachment to a city I’ve never even been to. Even my background as a Lakers fan hasn’t driven me from this. I realized that there were bigger things than a sports rivalry and there were people that could use my support. No matter which differences I have with them, I can put down the jersey and lace up my shoes to remember and honor those runners we lost. As the Boston marathon took place today, it was refreshing to see the progress and growth of a community. It is also fitting that Meb Keflezighi was the first American to win the race since 1983.While dark times are indeed clouding our world, it’s comforting to know that people can still band together when needed. In the end, I run for those who lost their lives; those who lost their limbs; those who responded to the victims. In the end, I run for Boston.