A Long Run to Remember

Boston Marathon Memorial with Boylston Street at Copley Square still closed to traffic.

Boston Marathon Memorial with Boylston Street at Copley Square still closed to traffic.

The sickness to my stomach and other symptoms of anxiety have finally lifted since word spread through the media that the second suspect was captured. Watertown was my neighborhood until just about 8 months ago. It is surreal to see your neighborhood shopping area constantly on TV. I can only imagine what all those families who live in the two East Watertown residential areas  must have gone through during the shoot-outs and the door-to-door searches for a dangerous suspect. When I first heard that the second suspect was hiding in a boat in Watertown my first guess was that the location of the boat was in one of the yacht clubs along my running route on the Watertown side of the Charles river rather than in somebody’s backyard. Odd. The following, now famous quote, describes this oddity:

“If you are gonna use a boat to escape, make sure it is in water, not Watertown!”

Charles river near East Watertown and the Arsenal Mall where the press conferences were held.

Charles river near East Watertown and the Arsenal Mall where the press conferences were held.

After a good night’s sleep (finally!), but still in a somber mood, I decide to run along the Charles river as if I were meeting again with my Alzheimer’s Association “Run for the Memory” fund-raising team. I drive toward the Arsenal Mall parking lot that just the day before was full of parked vehicles from the police, FBI, ATF, you name it. All I saw that reminded me of the rapidly unfolding events in this town this past week was a lone TV truck leaving the area. “Everything looks like it’s back to normal here.” I tell myself with a sigh of relief. The Charles River is beautiful this time of the year and many rowers, runners, and walkers simply enjoy being outside again after the “Shelter-In-Place” order and the driving ban in Watertown had been lifted the night before.

View to Mount Auburn Hospital where the MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue is being treated.

View to Mount Auburn Hospital (building of left) where the MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue is being treated.

As I run along the Cambridge side of the Charles river I pass Mount Auburn Hospital where MBTA police transit officer Richard Donohue is still in critical condition. I hope he will recover fast and that he will be able to walk again. Sean Collier, the young MIT Campus Police Officer, who was shot a bit further East, was not so lucky. This year, the Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon for that I’m currently training will have new meaning. The race is organized by the Boston Police Department and the Boston Police Runner’s Club. It is a tribute to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. This year, we will remember Sean Collier, the three bombing victims who died and the many wounded. Just today I received an email message for the organizers of this race and would like to share the following inspiring quote:

We are receiving emails from across the country with support and even from our troops in Afghanistan who want to run a half marathon on the same day and time as our race – and tweet their results in to us as a sign of solidarity and support for Boston.

This is a testament to our city, to the first responders and to the volunteers who continue to make a difference at this time.

B.A.A. Half Marathon Badge

B.A.A. Half Marathon Badge

As I run past the boat houses of Northeastern University, Harvard, and Boston University, I encounter several runners wearing yellow, blue or a combination of yellow and blue, the colors of the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.). I also am wearing my shirt from the B.A.A. Half Marathon, which is one of the most popular races in Boston. You have to mark your calendar for the date and time when registration opens, because all spots usually fill up within a two-hour period.

As I stop at a traffic light, a female runner recognizes the B.A.A. emblem on my t-shirt and smiles at me before she dashes off. I turn around at Boston University bridge. I’m too far away to take MIT bridge, which would add another two miles to my loop. I finish a total of 10 miles. “No hip pain today!” I notice. “The recovery week worked wonders!”, I think and smile. Starting this coming week there is no reason for why I shouldn’t get back to my regular running and training schedule as Boston resumes its hustle and bustle as well. This coming week, a two-mile easy run is on the schedule for Monday, followed by a six mile tempo run on Wednesday, another two-mile easy run on Thursday, followed by an eight to ten mile long run on Saturday for a total of 18 to 20 miles. Bring it on!

Northeastern University Boathouse

Northeastern University Boathouse

Boston University Boathouse

Boston University Boathouse

Kayak and Canoe Rental, Charles River Reservation

Kayak and canoe rental, Charles River Reservation, Mount Auburn Hospital in background

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