I grew up in a town just west of Boston, where Patriot's Day meant two things: spring break, and the Boston Marathon. My father ran the marathon several years ago now, though it feels like his run was last year. He trained for months, losing 50 pounds along the way.
My younger brother ran it yesterday. Yesterday, while I was reveling in my 5k success, my brother had just finished a 26.2 mile run through the suburbs of Boston.
In my post yesterday, I meant to write about how I was sitting at work, nearly biting my nails with nerves, watching the live coverage of the marathon online, hoping for some little glimpse of my brother in the crowds. He was near the front with a very low bib number, so I thought just maybe he'd run past a camera at the start and I'd see him.
I was on edge all morning watching the race, waiting for the text messages to tell me his splits. He finished at 12:47, with a race time of 2:46:53. Twenty-six point two miles, averaging 6:21 minute miles. Amazing.
And as soon as I received that text, my heart began to feel lighter and I was able to relax a little. He shortly thereafter sent a text "Call me Elvis cuz I'm still alive." He was making jokes! Cheerful! So I knew he was in good spirits, and happy with his race.
And even more thankfully - he finished so early, he was already boarding a train out of the city when the bombs went off. He was safe, and heading home, far from the fray of the explosions. He texted everyone immediately that he was fine.
My brother is safe.
My heart goes out to every Bostonian today, to all the runners, all the race organizers and volunteers, and to all the spectators at the race. My prayers are with the victims and their families. I am beyond thankful that my brother is safe, that all my friends and family from the city are safe.
I don't live in Boston anymore, nor do I have plans to move there in the future. But Boston is my home. It's part of me. You can take the girl out of Boston, but you can never take the Boston out of the girl. Love that dirty water.