Our City is STRONG

A message from Marathon Sports:

OUR CITY IS STRONG
#prayforboston

This took too long to write, and in part it’s because there really are no words to describe how we all feel right now.

On this surreal Tuesday, in the immediate wake of this incredible, tragic, senseless act of violence that took place quite literally at our doorstep, we are deeply saddened for the loss of life and the injuries sustained by the multitude of victims. We send our prayers, thoughts, and positive energy to all who have been affected by this act.

As a company at the epicenter of the running community in Boston, we feel it is our duty to respond. We will not respond with any commentary on those responsible for the attack; that would merely validate their actions. We will focus instead on the incredible sense of solidarity, of unity, and of love within the running community and Boston at large.

We are incredibly grateful that the members of our staff on site at the time of the attack are, miraculously, safe, and we are proud of the individual decisions our staff made in the face of inconceivable circumstances. And the outpouring of prayers, offers of help, and love from all corners of the running world is heartfelt and appreciated.

The decision to help one another through tragedy can be instinctive, and those very instincts are native to the running community, and part of what makes it such a special group of people in the first place. While running is very much an individual sport in many respects, we all strive to celebrate and triumph together, united by a common pursuit. Whether celebrating a first 5k, a PR, or a lifelong pursuit of crossing the finish line on Boylston Street, we all train, race, and celebrate together.

And because of this, we will persevere. As Bostonians – which we ALL are on Marathon Monday, native or not – we are strong, stubborn New Englanders to the core. As runners – we are unified through love for one another, love for our sport, love for the thrill of crossing finish lines, and for (sometimes) beating the clock.

Yesterday’s events will cause us to cherish those triumphs all the more, in honor of those who no longer can. Know this: Boston will not stop running. We will run again, and we owe it to those who can’t.

#PrayForBoston and donate to the Red Cross

Marathon Sports

FIND MISSING PEOPLE

Mayor’s Hotline – Call (617) 635-4500

Google Person Finder – http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/

American Red Cross “Safe And Well” – http://www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing

TIPS

If you have any information about this attack, please use the TIPS hotline – 1-800-494-TIPS

DONATE

And we are imploring all those who have the means to donate to the American Red Cross. Give money, or wait a week and give blood, it all helps.

A Heartfelt Thank You to All

I want to thank everyone who reached out through the various media to check on me yesterday. I was deeply touched by your concern.

I am okay, and on vacation in Florida. This blog post should go to LinkedIn and Facebook also.

I still have not heard from all of the runners that I know personally but I am hopeful for the best. Please keep the victims and their families in your hearts and prayers these next few days. The news reports sound horrific. Innocent spectators watching a marathon, their lives changed forever. Why?

We will be back in Boston in a few days. I look forward to seeing you. For those of you further away, thank you for thinking of me. I know how I felt when I did not know the fate of my many friends who ran yesterday.

Be well my friends,

Andy

Veterans Day

This Sunday is Veterans Day here in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

When I was a little boy we used to call November 11th Armistice Day. This was the day that World War I ended: The 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month. The end to what must have seemed an endless war.

My mother and grandmother used to tell me the story of my grandfather who was in France on that day. He was an engineer with the Army’s Yankee Division. Shortly before the Armistice went into effect his unit was traveling down a road. At some point a German soldier approached them and told them not to proceed down the road because it was mined.

That German soldier could have easily been shot as he approached the American unit, and he probably knew this. Yet he risked his life even though he probably knew that the war was almost over and he just needed to survive a few more days or hours and then he could go home.

If not for this soldier’s act of bravery my grandfather may not have returned home from France, or he may have returned as a different man. This nameless German likely made it possible for me to be here today. The other men in my grandfather’s unit that day also got to come home from Over Seas and live their lives. It kinda blows my mind to think how a single act of bravery, a twist of fate, made my life and so many other lives possible.

When I was a boy we used to see old men in front of the grocery stores selling Remembrance Poppies. They had red pedals and the center looked to be made from poppy seeds that had been glued together. My grandmother told me that the old veterans in the veteran’s hospitals used to make them. They were unable to work or go home due to their injuries, but many were able to make these flowers. I’m not sure how true that story was, but it is what my grandmother used to tell me.

The WWI and WWII guys are mostly gone now. The Korean Vets are now in their 80’s, and the Vietnam Vets are in their 60’s or older now. I do not see the Vets in front of the stores like I used to. Maybe I just shop at the wrong times, but I also do not see the red poppies like I used to.

This past week I was in Toronto. I saw Remembrance Poppies everywhere. It seemed like almost everyone had one pinned to their coat. I was amazed. In the lobby of my hotel they had a box of poppies and a donation box. For one Looney anyone could get a poppy. I dropped my Looney into the box and took a poppy.

If you see a Veteran in front of a store selling Remembrance Poppies this weekend, please stop and say thank you. Make a small donation and show that you remember.

English: Portrait of John McCrae, author of &q...
John McCrae, author of “In Flanders Fields” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Flanders Fields, by Lt. Col John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Today we remember

Often before I get into the shower I will pop open the window to help vent the room without using the ceiling vent. This morning as I stepped out of the shower I heard the sound of a commercial airliner at a low altitude over the house. As I glanced out of the window I noticed how clear and blue the sky was. And then it struck me, that today is 9/11.

We live on one of the lesser used flight paths into Logan, so I’m used to hearing jets over the house. But today the engines just sounded different. They sounded so much like the engines on the second plane. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

As I took the elevator to my office this morning I thought of the folks in New York City eleven years ago doing the same thing at about the same time. What were they thinking about? How did they feel? Had they just dropped the kids off at school. Were they still stewing over a fight with the spouse?

Take a moment today to remember those who never made it out and those that were left behind.

Today we remember

The Week that was

The week that was amazing

This past week was pretty active for me. I ran parts of the Freedom Trail twice, ran some great mileage, made gravy using tomatoes from my own garden and my recovery seems to be on track.

Wednesday night I ran some of Boston’s Freedom Trail with friends, but it was really just a vehicle to hit some bars and have a good time.

On Saturday I ran with City Running Tours Boston. This run took us down the Freedom Trail, through the Seaport District and ended at the Harpoon Brewery. Brian McCarthy lead our group of six through the city pointing out historic sites and explaining the history of older buildings. I’ve been to Boston many times but I did learn a few things and had a great time.

As many of you know, running through a city is a great way to see things and to get to know the place. By running you get to cover a lot more ground than by walking and by not being in a car or bus you can stop when you want to and you are always up close and personal with your surroundings.

As we ran through Boston we could smell the salty air blowing in off of the harbor, the fruits and vegetable at the Farmer’s Market and all of the aromas of various bakeries and shops. We also got to hear the city and the variety of voices and languages. The weather was warm, the sky was clear, and the city was vibrant.

If you have guests from out-of-town and want to show them Boston, City Running Tours Boston is a great way to do it. There are frequent stops to look at the sites and hear about what went on at a particular location. This is not a 10K race and the pace is manageable. Our group had some older folks and some recent college grads and we all kept together. This is a leisurely run through Boston and not a foot race.

City Running Tours is in 10 cities, so if you are traveling to one of them and would like to get a close up and intimate tour of your destination, be sure to sign up. They limit the number of runners in each group, so plan ahead. In Boston there are several different tours available. If you are visiting from out-of-town and need to get your long run in, they will provide a knowledgeable local runner to guide you also.

The week that was running

I ended up running over 28 miles this week, which was way beyond my goal of 24. Two of my runs were recreational tours of Boston and not as rigorous as a normal training run. I am beginning to notice that my leg does not hurt as often, and am definitely on the road to recovery. Now I just need to be careful!

Yesterday afternoon I picked the last of 23lbs of Roma tomatoes from my garden and made 4 Qts of gravy. Last week I cooked 27lbs of romas. It’s a bit of a process, but well worth the effort. I call this time of year the “Tomato Explosion”. The vines are loaded and I have to pick every day. My colleges are enjoying pounds of cherry tomatoes!

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by.

©2012 anagelin

Rage against the dying of the light!

Here it is Monday August 20th all ready. As usual I ask, where has the summer gone? I always try and extend the summer as long as possible. The calendar is the calendar and there is no fighting the eternal movements of celestial bodies. But in my mind, as long as there are tomatoes on the vine and some fair weather, it is summer.

I don’t care that it is starting to get dark earlier. I don’t care that the nightly symphony of insects is beginning to play a different tune in my back yard. At this point in the year the angle of the sun still feels like summer. As the days grow shorter and the shadows grow longer I will need to fight harder to keep my summer alive.

I will sit in my back yard and enjoy the sun on my face, and the green vibrancy of my little sanctuary. I will enjoy the tingle in my hand from the frost of an ice-cold beer. I will not go gently into that good autumn. I will rage, rage against the dying of the light. For as long as there are tomatoes on the vine and sun in my eyes, the summer shall live on!

All will come to pass in good time, regardless of my efforts to brace against the turning of the season. The passing of the seasons cannot be slowed or brought to a halt by a man’s mind. However, a man can make the most of the season he is in and the hope that the season to come will be just as thrilling.

Drink up my friends. Gulp down that glass before you. Do not waste your time pondering over the foolishness of perspective. Bottoms up! Empty that glass and wipe your chin.

My thanks to Dylan Thomas.

Live well my friends!

©2012 anagelin