WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Boston Bombing Hits Close To Home

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The two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon broke the law and violated the order in Boston and around the world. For Washingtonians, coverage of the bombings brings to mind vivid memories of moments of when D.C. has been the target of an attack.

Rev. Julia Jarvis, the spiritual director of the Interfaith Families Project, says she felt the full emotional force of the bombings. "It makes me sick. There's anger, there's deep, deep sadness."

Jarvis, a long time runner, says this reminded her of when she ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Her 8-year-old daughters were waiting at the finish line. The youngest victim of the attacks, Martin Richard, was in the very same position as her daughters.

"I'm sure that little boy was so psyched his dad was doing this," she says. "And then this horrible thing happens."

Jarvis says the most important thing is to feel the pain of what happened, but then move on and choose not to feel victimized by it.

Runners

Shenyi Wu, a District resident who frequently runs in Rock Creek Park, says the bombings left him sad, but emboldened. "It makes you want to run more. Challenged with obstacles, it makes you want to overcome it."

Kelsey Owen, a long-distance runner, says is devastating to see something as prestigious and amazing as the Boston Marathon become associated with terrorism. Owen has run a few half-marathons, and says it wasn't hard to imagine this happening at one of the races she's run. "It gives me a whole new appreciation for the crowd," she says.

Races

Washington has more major running races than any other city. Every weekend, there are dozens of organized races, and organizers say there will be enhanced security. In addition to previously scheduled races, runners have organized public events all over the region in solidarity with the Boston runners.

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports management at The George Washington University, says despite the fear of another attack, she doesn't think this will stop anyone from competing.

Neirotti says this reminds her of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A bomb exploded in a public area where visitors were gathering, one person was killed, and more than 100 people were injured. "This happened the first week of the games. Many people thought that was going to be the end. But, in fact there's never been an Olympic Games that's sold more tickets than Atlanta."

Neirotti says the bombings will likely raise the profile of the Boston Marathon, which is already known as the Holy Grail of races. So, whatever is higher than the Holy Grail, that's what the Boston race may become.


[Music: "Livin' For You" by Boston from Walk On]

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