The Finish Line

Two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today.

I still feel quite shocked and numb, and the words to my feelings are slow to come. I did have a fleeting moment of clarity, about finishing races, which I have done nine times in the past four years. A finish line is a mixed-up crush of elation, pride, relief, exhaustion and celebration, where the accomplishment of a race is realized both in hours and minutes and seconds, and in hugs and high fives.

At each of my finishes, I have basked in my strength, but also in distinct moments of vulnerability. As the body comes to rest, muscles twitching, asthma flaring, sweat turning quickly to shivers, these physical shifts can give way to an emotional overflow. Mostly it’s joy, but sometimes it’s disbelief at what you’ve just accomplished and a burst of reflexive tears just fill your eyes. So when I think, that today, the personally sacred moment of crossing a finish line was disrupted with the most unimaginable violence, the tears that come are just so deeply sad.

My thoughts and concerns are with all of the victims who have been injured, or killed, and with their loved ones who feel so helpless right now. My deepest gratitude to the first responders who ran into danger and mayhem and also to the doctors and nurses who received the wounded with focus and determination to ease their pain. My respect to the officials and citizens of Boston who I have no doubt will care for each other until every last person is healed and justice is brought to the criminals who blew up their city.

My heart though… my heart is with the runners and the finish lines they have yet to cross. Something tells me that when they do, they will let those tears flow and flow and flow.

Justine crosses finish line 12.09

Justine & Kevin at finish line 12.5.09

Zane congratulates Justine on race 12.09

de and J finish




gammie half

TM finish line



10 thoughts on “The Finish Line

  1. oh girlfriend, so horrible, sad and devastating…i thought of it in this way today too. the irony of all the finish line represents, tainted now by trauma. here’s to all those affected finding their place to healing. xoxo

    1. Thank you Sheri! Even though you grit your teeth through your daily miles, you are a Runner, tenacious, present and yet always going forward. Hugs to you, keep on running!!

  2. Truly beautiful. This is perfect. Not to minimize any of the horror to the injured, killed, and their friends and families, but as I watched this unfold the other day, I kept looking back at the runners who were within sight of the finish line. What indescribable emotion that must be after 26 miles, to be right there, and then have this happen.

    1. thanks friend. agreed totally.

      the only thing I keep thinking is, there could not be a more determined group of people who will rise from this tragedy than marathon runners!

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