Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running for Boston

I woke up today at 2:30am just because I had gone to bed way earlier than I normally do. Over the last 2 days since the events at the Boston Marathon unfolded I've been doing some thinking and having the reaction of horror as other have at hearing about the injured and the dead. News footage and photos for the bombed area once cleared clearly showed the amount of blood left from the injuries sustained by the spectators. Those same spectators that cheer on we runners even if we're total strangers to them. The spectators are no less part of the running community than any runner is.

On Monday the national office of Team Red, White & Blue (Team RBW) called for members to don our team jersey's and run with a flag on Tuesday. I was already scheduled to do a 10 mile training run so I wore my Team RWB shirt, grabbed our one and only flag which is 2.5' x 4' (kinda hilarious since I'm just over 5'3"), printed out one of the Runners United to Remember Boston bibs "laminating" it with packing tape on both sides and pinned it to the back of my shirt. In my eyes this was the right thing to do, to show the solidarity of Team RWB in supporting Boston and to also show the solidarity of the running/walking community as whole for those affected by this act of terrorism. I am positive that I am not the only Team RWB member to do this...there's a run tonight in Albuquerque and nationwide through at least Saturday. I am also sure that I will not be the only team member to run solo because we have members all across the nation.

I ran my usual long run route along a couple of the main roads near the outskirts of town. This is a military community, my husband is a USAF retiree from the base here and I have my own connections as a veteran. My husband didn't run with me because he had to work and truthfully, he's not ready for a 10 miler. The wind for most of the run was in the 20+mph range especially in the open areas that are unprotected by buildings...which is most of the route. I had several people honking as they drove by a few actually stopped and took pictures or took pictures as they drove by. I had one lady, who had just started to follow the local club FB that I manage, actually stop and we chatted for a few minutes as to how she had seen me a couple of times and was just compelled to stop and thank me for doing the run.

One of the people who had taken a picture had posted it to the local newspaper's FB page and they were trying to figure out who I was. One of my former students identified me as did someone who apparently found my posts on Twitter. I made a couple of posts of why I did the run focusing on Team RWB and the running community's support for Boston. These are my posts:

Beth Hardy Yes, that is me. The national office of Team Red, White and Blue asked members to don their team jerseys and run with a flag today. The bib on my back is from an online movement by the running community over the next couple of months to honor the Boston community. This was a planned 10 mile run for me (although the wind wasn't) as part of my training for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon. When I ran it last year I dedicated my run to the victims of the OKC bombing and all veterans (I am an 80's era veteran). Unfortunately this year besides the OKC victims and vets I will be wearing the Boston bib as well and dedicating my 13.1 miles to the Newtown victims in honor of those runners who didn't have the chance to run the 26th mile which was dedicated to Newtown.
For more information on Team Red, White and Blue go to: You don't have to be a vet or an athlete to support the organization. Veteran athletes can apply through the website. My husband and I are the only members in the Clovis area (as far as I know) so we affiliate with the ABQ chapter...we did the Bataan Memorial Death March as a group as well as other races.
If you're a runner/walker, please consider doing some miles or your next race for the running community at large but more specifically the whole of Boston.
I will post the bib that can be printed out on the Clovis Area Run/Walk Club page (
Thank you.
Beth Hardy As an aside from my windy run this morning...there is one more online movement going on today. If you have ever run/walked a race, please wear a race shirt to honor Boston. If you can't due to dress code please try to wear blue and yellow. Thanks again.
Beth Hardy XXXXX XXXXX, I really don't want to draw attention away from the reason for this run. I've explained it in my posts above. I am simply a runner supporting the running community in Boston and as a whole. Thank you, but that is all I really have to say on the matter...I just ask all to remember those affected by yesterday's events and every other act of terrorism (homegrown or foreign). Any other info is in my earlier posts in this thread.

Somehow the reporter whose name I have "X" out found out where I live and came ringing my doorbell. I was trying to nap and ignored the first ring but at the second ring I answered the door in my robe and tactfully (I hope) told him I had nothing more to say and that everything he needed to know was in my comments to the picture as well as the fact that I was exhausted and trying to nap. The run for me was just a normal training run/walk due to the winds...not that I'm fast anyway...with the added touch of representing Team RWB and teaming up with the running community nationwide and internationally to remember those affected by the bombing. Nothing more. I ran to remember, I ran to support Team RWB's actions to remember. It was not about me, I was just training and remembering those in Boston.

Me after my windy 10 miles with the flag
I carried in the background.
The back of my Team RWB jersey.
That's a full page (8.5" x 11") bib.
One last thing, if you post on Twitter please try to keep using the hashtag #UnitedWeRun...

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