Later this week, I’ll be working in a variety of capacities at the B.A.A. Boston Marathon. I’ve been fortunate to serve on the Operations Committee out there since 2008. That’s sort of like being a high school football coach who’s given a role helping out at the Super Bowl. Part of my role is helping out with presentations and talks, particularly those for my good friend, Race Director Dave McGillivray. I wrote the following speech with him and B.A.A. President Tom Grilk in mind, thinking of what I would say to the crowd of 36,000 runners in Hopkinton on race morning if I were in their shoes…
IT IS TIME
by Sean Ryan
It is time.
It is time to reject the notion that the cowardly attack on April 15th of last year was an attack against us, the running community. Indeed, the attack was against ALL of us – runners, spectators, Bostonians, New Englanders, and all Americans. It was an attack against Patriotism and all things we hold dear.
But Americans are known for their spirit of defiance and their ability to persevere. When we are attacked, we do not back down. When our monuments and buildings are toppled, we rebuild them. But how are we to respond when the very spirit of our great nation is attacked?
This is where we, the running community, will play an important role. Your actions today will show the defiance of all Americans. We will show our defiance by continuing the tradition of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon for the 118th year. We will show our defiance by lining up at the starting line in Hopkinton on the third Monday in April as we always do. And we will show our defiance by running 26.2 miles to the heart of Boston.
Today is Patriot’s Day. The entire world is watching, waiting to see how we, the running community, respond. And respond we will.
On this day, may the footfalls of 30,000 plus runners serve as a symbol of defiance and perseverance for all Americans. On this day, may the pounding of pavement echo throughout the land, sending a clear message to those who would try and take away our freedom.
It is time. It is time to show that we are not afraid. It is time to show that we will not back down. It is time…to run.