[photo by Josh Campbell]
Here we are: the Marathon Monday that isn't. Even though our sport is "the sport" now and our most humbling race distance, the marathon, is the metaphor of the day, Patriots Day 2020 in Massachusetts is not a celebration in the way that we've come to know it. Let's make it something special any way.
This week, Governor Charlie Baker (MA) said: “Massachusetts is strong, we are resilient and we can run any marathon anybody wants us to run. We’ll get through this crisis and we’ll get through it together.” Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY) stated early on: "This is not a sprint, my friends, it’s a marathon.”
Well, my friends, we're the ones who know the pain of the marathon. We know the endurance required. It's what we do. It's what we sign up for FOR FUN. But, this marathon that the governors are talking about is a leveler. For me, it turned the most historic road race in the world into just a run, just an event with a date pushed back. There are much bigger problems in the world right now. When the race returns, we'll race hard and celebrate that we can but now let's celebrate the new leaders.
The running community is a powerful network. Its culture and this tribe follow the majors across the globe from Tokyo to Boston to London to Berlin to Chicago to NYC and so many races in between. Usually, we line up shoulder to shoulder dozens deep for 26 miles powering total strangers to glory with the deafening enthusiasm of our collective voices, cow bells, & confetti cannons. Now, this illness is in all of our cities. We're banding together separately in a unified fight against a threat to our culture of racing (thankfully, not the practice of the run that we cherish). How do make this a positive?
First, get out there and go for a run and in so doing, let's pay tribute to the heroes of this current marathon: the people thrust on to the frontlines by their choice of profession. Physicians, nurses, healthcare aids, the patient movers, delivery drivers, grocers, cashiers, baggers, all of the people whose workplace is newly dangerous - and yet, they go. They go for us.
This Patriots Day, let's use our collective spirit of positivity, the energy and power we let loose every year from Hopkinton to Boston to show these workers what they mean to us and how much we appreciate them. Call, text, Venmo coffee or lunch, check in, be nice. Dig deep, cheer loud, and say thanks. They'll tell you, it means the world.
Read about Heartbreakers on the frontlines here & here.