A defiant spirit

As I climbed on the treadmill early Tuesday morning, still a bit sluggish from a long day of work at the newspaper, my thoughts turned to the Boston Marathon.

In an instant, the events Monday afternoon, at running’s premier event, turned an otherwise celebratory day – symbolizing the best in our sport – into a significant news story. As soon as the first email alert popped into my inbox, the question loomed: was it terrorism?

There is so much we don’t know. The days and weeks ahead will afford us many more answers as investigators delve into the evidence and tips pouring in.

What I do know, and what I can control, is my reaction to the tragedy. I’m inspired by a group of Grand Forks runners who gathered for an honorary run Tuesday night.

On my own behalf, I am motivated more than ever to qualify for Boston. Previously, on the fence about running the full marathon in Fargo next month, I am determined to do it – in defiance of whoever thinks terrorism, a cowardly and disgraceful act, will deter this runner. Our sport is about freedom, independence and humanity – I will not have that stripped away by some kitchen bombmaker.

I will proceed with my intentions to run Grandma’s Marathon in June. And I will continue training and running marathons until I qualify for Boston. Previously, I’ve been shy by just more than 2 minutes. When I do qualify for our sport’s marquee race, I will go there to celebrate – and remember this defiant spirit.

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