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Boston Marathon, a Winnipeg Tribute

April 16, 2013

Run for Boston, Winnipeg!

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Normally I like to throw in humour and sarcasm into my writings, but not today.  Today is about something with a lot more meaning and depth.  It’s about people coming together as a community showing support and human compassion towards a city that underwent a terrible experience during an event that was supposed to be a positive staple.

After the events of the Boston Marathon, people nation wide were left devastated.  However in light of all that was horrible, people’s hearts that blead out for the city of Boston stretched even further than the constraints of the USA.  A local radio station in the Canadian city I live in – Winnipeg – decided this morning to host a spur of the moment event to show our support for our American friends.  Even with only a few hours of airtime to arrange and announce a 5k run in honour of the Boston Marathon, the turnout was astonishing.  Winnipeggers began to assemble at Assiniboine Park to run their hearts out for all those affected in the Marathon disaster.

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Before the race went underway, all contestants were asked to sign a Canadian flag which was to be sent down south to show our Canadian affection towards our American friends.  I was honoured enough to be one of the first to sign before the flag was almost completely blacked out with signatures.  After about 45 min of constant signing of the flag, we all assembled at the start line and readied ourselves for the race.

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The interesting thing I found about this race, was how randomly – and quick – it was all thrown together.  I have been training now for over four months for the local Manitoba Half Marathon, among other smaller race events scattered throughout the summer.  My first actual race event was scheduled to be this saturday entitled ‘Run Your Heart Out’ hosted by an organization that rescues dogs.  I never thought my real first race event would be almost a week sooner for a humanitarian cause.  It was truly an honour to run along side so many caring people who on a whim gave up their evening to run this race.

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This is a shot I took just after I passed the finish line.  Even though it was only a 5k run, I had a lot to reflect about during the race and lost track of my pace multiple times.  This will probably be the most memorable race I’ll even run, not only as it’s my first official event, but because of what it represents.

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This was shot right after I crossed the finish line and grabbed a way overdue water.  Normally I’d prefer a beer, but nothing felt better than that bottle of water knowing I’d finished the first of many races for the year.  The best part of this whole event was how so many people were wearing Boston attire…note my fancy vintage Celtics jersey.  There was an entire assortment of Boston gear sported by almost everyone who showed up to run – most of them Bruins hockey jerseys.  I was the only one who actually had a basketball jersey; apparently theres no situation where I don’t feel the need to stand out.

At the end of the day, I was so amazed at how a city so far away could still be so affected and feel the pain of another.  I was truly touched by Winnipeg’s show of support and general human compassion towards our southern friends.  As a passionate runner, the events that happened hit closer to home for me, and there was definite emotion tied to my contribution today.  In a world so full of violence and pain, its truly a wonder to see humanity band together and show love.  Thanks to all who came out today, helped out and participated in the run.  Our efforts have not go unnoticed.

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