Wear a Running Shirt
I imagine the reactions of most people to the Boston Marathon explosions on Monday were similar: They checked in with everyone they knew in the Boston area and everyone they knew running or working the event. Then they sat stunned.
A marathon is a happy event. It is the culmination of months of preparation and the support of family and friends as you continually decline plans because you have to run. It requires pushing your body to a limit that seems impossible, and for many is. It requires extreme athleticism and dedication. The Boston Marathon is particularly prestigious because runners have to qualify to participate. (The New Yorker ran a nice piece on what the Boston Marathon means.) They have to be elite for their age group. Most have probably spent the better part of their lives running, strength training and striving for excellence. It is an Olympic-level effort. Their family and friends come out to support them. After they finish, they go home exhausted and exhilarated. But not on Monday.
News of a tragedy like the one on Monday afternoon spreads quickly in the social media universe: Tweets from people at the scene, Instagrams of gruesome pictures and news stories posted as quickly as possible. But social media can do more than just report on events; it can show solidarity and tribute. After the explosions on Monday afternoon, many people began posting pictures of themselves in running shirts with #runforboston or other mentions of the Boston tragedy. As more people saw the posts, more people donned shirts and posted pictures. (News-Record has a nice gallery.) It is a tribute to those impacted by the tragedy, to the first responders, to the police investigating the explosions, to the marathoners who donated blood after running 26.2 miles, and to the Boston locals who offered their homes to runners and their families who had nowhere to stay on Monday night. It's always nice to see something simple like a promotional shirt--or in this case multiple promotional shirts--become something more, which is why I wanted to write about it today.