This morning I went for a 14 mile run with my running companion, Sam. This was a difficult run because the wind was ferocious and it felt like running uphill while carrying weights.
My best strategy in this case is to cheat. If this were a race, I would have found the biggest, broadest guy on the course and run RIGHT BEHIND him. Ah, yes. Drafting. Totally worth it.
On this particular day I found a suitably large Navy officer named Steve. Sam and I introduced ourselves and asked him to join us. After about 5 minutes, I decided to draft off him. While I was drafting, Steve told me what he was training for- His second Boston marathon. Steve said that he was 2 miles away from the finish line last year when the bombs detonated. He was unable to finish. He said that the Boston Athletic Association let him re-enter for this year. I had been wondering what happened to the runners who were left stranded last year. I wondered if they would get the chance to finish what they started.
I’m glad to have met Steve today. Partially because he shielded me, a total stranger, from the wind, but mostly because he reminded me how much I’ve come to appreciate the camaraderie and spirit of this sport. He will not be defeated. He will reach the finish line, a year later, in Boston.