It was a good day for running the Boston Marathon, but it was not a good run.  I knew a few miles in that it was going to be a struggle.  My ankle felt OK, but the weeks of missed training due to rehab had taken their toll.  Despite the disappointing time, there are few thrills in running greater than turning from Hereford Street to Boylston on Patriots Day.  Crossing the finish line, I felt happy and so very fortunate to have the unicorn beat me into submission once again.  I felt awful but could not stop myself from grinning like the idiot I am.

And then things changed. I had my phone out for a celebratory selfie and heard a loud bang . . . then another . . . felt the percussion and turned to see a plume of smoke rising over Boylston.  “Maybe it’s a celebration”, said the runner next to me.  No, I don’t think so.

I know that the Tsarnaev brothers probably weren’t targeting marathoners, or people who like to watch marathons, or people related to marathoners who were there to carry marathoners home after a marathon.  They were simply way ahead of schedule in constructing a bomb originally destined for a Fourth of July celebration in New York City.  Anxious to see if their inaugural WMD manufacturing process worked, and apparently not wanting to drive too far to find out, they picked Boston.  And you know how the rest of the story played out.

This year we head back to Boston for reasons different than in the past.  This year we return to take back our race, to take back our finish line.  We will chase the unicorn and run off the demons.  We will run out of respect, remembrance and resilience.  Because that’s what we do.

Tami and I are supporting several important charities in conjunction with this year’s running of the Boston Marathon and we invite you to join us in helping turn something bad into something very, very good.  Pick the one that comes closest to touching your heart:

  • Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm.  I will be running in support of this wonderful organization that helps kids with autism, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other physical and/or mental disabilities.  Click here for my fundraising homepage to learn the rest of the story as to why we are so passionate about helping the good folks at Ironstone Farm.  Many thanks to Jean (#theloonwhisperer) Brislance, Dan & Linda Turpin, Brian & Erica Hepperman, Noel Anderson, Joe & Brenda Pereles, Claire Chosid and my Mom for the generous support.  As of today, we are up to $10,850 of awesomeness.  You done good! 
  • American Liver Foundation.  Chris Russell will be running his 15th Boston Marathon in honor of his Dad who is losing a battle with liver disease.  Chris has been extremely generous with the running community over the years by sharing inspiration, entertainment and motivation via his RunRunLive podcast.  This is a great way to give back.  Click here to learn more about Chris’ 2014 pilgrimage from Hopkinton to Boston and to help researchers find ways to cure liver-related disease.
  • The One Fund BostonProceeds from TheOne Fund Boston go toward supporting the ongoing needs of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.  Click here to help out.

There, doesn’t that feel good?boston_eric

Looking forward to sharing this journey back to Boston with all of you.