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Just speechless. Such a happy occasion, an event of accomplishment, an icon of the running world, all dramatically changed in, what, 30 seconds. Lives changed forever.

Even though I wasn’t there and don’t know any of the runners, I feel so emotionally involved. I feel, I am sure like every other runner in the world, as though I know each and every one of the participants personally. It’s a guarantee that when lining up on a start line, reaching the halfway point, climbing the ‘wall’, if you need a helping hand, a runner will come to help you through. I have run in this race, twice. I have also run several other marathons, but none of them were as emotional as the Boston. It’s the fact that you have to qualify for Boston that makes it so special; the extra effort, that ‘dig deep’ moment to get the qualifier (time).

David missed being at this year’s race by 4 minutes. Last year he tried so hard. He needed a 3:05 and recorded a 3:09. He would have been finishing just about when the bombs exploded. Fate, God, luck, David’s not-quite-in-good-enough-condition, his (and my) inability to read the correct qualifying time needed. A lot of different forces conspired to prevent him being there. I have just spoken with him and he says that he will be there next year.

Watching the newsreel footage, the emergency personnel, the race volunteers, the police, were just incredible. Obviously first reaction is to turn and run, but they didn’t. They turned towards the blast and raced to help those injured. They are amazing people.

I just hope that this horrible event does not put people off from competing in other events. I for one will not give the terrorists the satisfaction of withdrawing from my upcoming event. I hope that the organisers of big races will go ahead with them. Please don’t let the terrorists win. Pittsburgh’s marathon is in 3 weeks. We will all be extra vigilant. It will be a success.

My thoughts and prayers are so totally focused on all the people involved in this most horrible event; the runners, the family and spectators, the race organisers and volunteers, the police, medical personnel, military reservists, and everyone else.

I will dedicate all my workouts and my upcoming event to those who were injured and lost their lives today in Boston.          Joanna

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