Take It In Stride: Running in Fear

People have trained their entire lives to run the Boston Marathon and making it there is a tremendous accomplishment. The recent bombings at the 2013 event were heinous, horrible acts. What should have been a day of celebration, turned into a day of sorrow.

To those people affected— runners, spectators, Bostonites — my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Three Yukoners were there and thankfully, all three were okay.

Initially it made me think twice about participating in big running events. My kids and wife have waited for me at the finish line in the past and it sickens me to think of them in danger.

After 9/11, people worried about getting on airplanes. Now people will worry about crossing the finish line. In either case, letting this fear dictate our lives means the cowards who commit these acts win.

As a community, runners have a responsibility to prove that these attacks will not impact the pursuit of our goals and the celebration of the hard work that goes into our sport. Instead of running from these events, we have to run towards them and make them bigger and better than ever.

Boston will bounce back and next year’s event will carry on its tradition of excellence.

This summer I’ll have those in Boston in the back of my mind with every step I take. I will remember what a gift it is to run every day and will honour those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy by continuing to do so. I will continue to participate in big events with a renewed hunger to keep running free, running hard.

Now, I want to qualify and run in the Boston Marathon. I want to prove to myself that I can do it but more importantly, I want to prove to the perpetrators that I won’t be deterred from doing what I love.

The summer season is here. May highlights include the return of Tuesday night 5 km fun runs and Thursday night trail runs along with events like the Haekel Hill Run and Run for Mom. Visit the Athletics Yukon Calendar of Events at AthleticsYukon.ca learn more.

Until next time, keep putting one foot in front of the other towards a happier and healthier life

Ben Yu Schott lives in Whitehorse with his family. He writes a monthly running column, Take It in Stride, for What’s Up Yukon.

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