It's also taken me this long to grasp exactly how I feel about what Nov. 4 was supposed to be and what it turned into. My official stance? I am utterly mystified over the vilification of runners that happened surrounding the NYCM controversy; especially by other runners.
In the short amount of time I've been apart of this amazing community, never has it ever been a bad thing to be a runner. A bat shit crazy thing? Sure! What sane person does what we do? It takes a special kind of strong to even imagine accomplishing something like that, let alone actually do it. Yet with all the crazy and all the masochism, I've never met a more supportive, positive, self giving group of people in my life. Even with some of the douchey elitist faster runners, at the end of the day we are a community of people who get it; who get me! I've never been apart of anything so accepting before and I highly suggest if you don't have your own community, find one. I would've never imagined in a million years anyone would say anything to any degree of what was said via social media in the past week. Not gonna lie, I got angry; really angry.
So, I did the only thing I could do (without getting arrested). I ran on Sunday anyway. I ran because life was so over whelming at that moment that that's the only thing I could do. Running has turned into my place to think, especially when life gives me something I need to work out. So, I had a nice long run to think about things. 26.2 miles, to be exact. I ran into Manhattan to meet the PIC and we set out to run out all of our frustrations (thank you, taper madness. You are a real thing and were not helping matters). There were lots of tears, lots of yelling and lots of cursing. PS- I'm pretty sure mad enough, anyone can run a marathon.
Then there was a beautiful moment as we started getting closer to the park. You could hear cheers and when you got even closer, you could see a completely jam packed Central Park (the best summer day had nothing on this). People were cheering harder than I've ever seen. There were make-shift water and aid stations everywhere. Runners were cheering each other on, high-fiving, and helping each other out. It truly was the 26 mile block party everyone claims the NYCM is, but even better. The positive energy wrapped itself around you, and carried you through your run. I've never experienced anything like it before. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
As we joined the stream of runners (clockwise on the outside, counter on the inside. For being unofficial, it was quite organized), it was very apparent that these people weren't and could never be the evil that those sitting in the comforts that others had lost were trying to make them out to be. Everywhere you looked someone had on a charity singlet or a personalized shirt for the person they were running for. Charity or not, selfish or not we all have our own reasons for running and who the hell are you to judge? At that moment, I didn't care what anyone thought. This was a moment that would (hopefully) never have to happen again and I wasn't going to forget, so I made sure to soak up every inch of it.
|The A team!|
Even after those many many hours, I am still at a loss. I am not as angry, but I'm still heartbroken that this city had to go through this and I'm still hurt about the way the situation was escalated. It was such an unnecessary battle when there are still so many others vastly more important. I do know that there is no quick-fix to recover from this; any of this.
I really hope time brings perspective.