Running is a sport that provides a sense of freedom to its adherents: freedom from daily stresses and our own limitations. It is accessible to anyone in reasonably good physical condition. It does not discriminate against ethnicity, wealth, background, sex, or religion. All you need is a pair of shoes (or no shoes at all according to the minimalists) and the will to keep moving.

Yesterday, the running community suffered terrible losses in Boston.  Many participants trained for years to cross the Boston finish line and the joy of their accomplishment has been diminished by these events.  Yesterday, running came with a heavy price to pay.

Boston is the Superbowl of long-distance racing.  To qualify for Boston is our sport’s litmus test, a measure of prowess that runners can relate to immediately.  Because of its significance, friends and family will rally to cheer their runner on, either by traveling to the city or by following the race in real time at home.  Supporting a runner is sometimes as satisfying as completing a race.

Men, women, and children diligently waited for hours yesterday morning and afternoon on the sidelines to see their loved ones complete 26 miles.  A marathon race brings out so much inspiration, courage, and love in all those present.  That compassion was foiled by intentions that none of us can comprehend.

To the city of Boston, the Boston Athletic Association, the family and friends of the injured and the deceased, I offer on behalf of the RidgeRunners Club and all area runners our deepest condolences and sincere sympathies.

Let us celebrate the courage and accomplishment of Boston participants, race organizers and volunteers, emergency responders, and security forces, and let us refuse to be defeated by these acts of terror.

Please join me and members of the RidgeRunners Club tonight at 7 p.m. at the Lake Ridge Elementary School parking lot (11970 Hedges Run Drive) for a two-mile walk to honor the Boston Marathon.  After a brief moment of silence, we will continue to do what we do best: we will support one another and our small community of runners by moving forward, one step at a time.