Monday, April 15, 2013

Behind the Pictures

         In the wake of today's tragedies in Boston, my heart breaks. Having only recently joined the distance running circuit, I know the time, dedication, and hard work that goes into training for a race - any race - let alone one as historical as Boston. To have this great moment marred by something so senseless.....I really don't have any words.

        My most recent half would not have been as memorable or as special had my parents not been there to cheer me on and support me. Having them present at multiple stops along the race helped to give me the encouragement I needed to carry on those last few miles.

Behind these pictures are the people who encourage me and support me the most in my life and I can't image losing them while they were there to support me. 

It was about 100ft back from this picture that I first saw my Mom & Dad along the race route. I cried, right there at Mile 4.5, entering into the happiest place on earth. In all the (few) races that I've run, my parents hadn't been able to make it to any of them. So the fact that they were able to make it to Disney - one of the biggest races I've done so far - meant the absolute world to me and I was beyond happy to see them. 

Mom and Dad were a part of the ChEAR squad so they were able to have access to a few more viewing spots along the race route. Dad even stepped up his technology skills and learned how to read text messages with my time/pace updates. 
This picture was close to Mile 7-8 right outside the Polynesian Resort. It was amazing to see them right by my all time favorite character - Stitch. I'm pretty sure I was telling them "I LOVE STITCH!!" - I remember hearing my Dad yell "Run Little Bit, Run!". (I'm getting teary just writing this....)

The man behind this picture is standing at the top of the finish line stands, waiting for me and my running buddy to cross the finish line. I don't know who was more excited. Me, or him yelling at the top of the bleachers, or my Mom chEARing me on right at railing. 
It is this picture that makes my heart break when I see today's footage. This is right at the end of the race, right where today's bomb went off. Heartbreaking. 

Having these two by my side during and at the end of the race meant the world to me. I know that they are proud of me and all of my accomplishments. I'm thankful for all the support and encouragement they have given me throughout the years. 
Their shirts don't do them justice. They are the BEST ChEAR squad a runner girl could ever have. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were affected at today's Marathon. 
Yes, today was supposed to be filled with personal accomplishments and achievements - but those things wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the people on the sidelines, the volunteers, and the race organizers cheering us on, and supporting us every step of those miles. 

Keep Running Boston. 


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