Russian photographer Sergey Semenov stitched together panorama pictures he took during a helicopter ride in New York City.
Note the Sheep Meadow — the 2013 picnic season is coming!
Harlem up at the top!
Too cool not to share!
Keep Calm and Run On
A week ago, I woke up in Hopkinton and the only item on my agenda was to run the Boston Marathon. What an absolute treat; no emails to answer, no accounts to bill… just me and my sneakers and 26.2. And, about 500k spectators. What could possibly be better?
The skies were clear, the spectators raucous and the in-race box score told me the Sox were winning. It was the perfect morning.
Racing hard, I ran the course 20+ minutes faster than ever had before. When I checked the watch I realized I was less than 10 seconds off my PR; a very good day. I collected my medal; hugged the wonderful volunteer, and leisurely made my way to the changing tent. Post tent, I shuffled into City Sports, to snag a new hoodie for my efforts. I was wandering around inside, looking for an ATM, at 2:50 pm.
Just past 3:00, I walked outside into a world that had been irrevocably altered. It was like the previous 3 hours and 31 minutes had not even happened. People were crying and holding each other. Some were staring off into space. My first thought was “wow, they must have had a really terrible race”. It wasn’t until I saw an older runner, wrapped in a space blanket, clutching his wife’s arm, with that 1000 yard stare, that I knew something serious had happened.
I flagged down a cab, right in front of my old dorm on Beacon Street, and got out onto Storrow Drive just as my phone started to chirp. Dozens of calls, emails and texts came flooding in. The cabby turned up the radio loud so I could hear the news and he was yelling over it. Through the noise, it began to sink in: the unthinkable had happened.
By the time I got to the fire station in Newton to meet my family, I was sobbing uncontrollably and my aunt nearly ran out into traffic to get to me. I held onto my mom for a long time; she pretty much had to put me in the car. As we drove to Hopkinton to retrieve the rental car from my friend’s house, I frantically checked on everyone that I could think of. All seemed ok, despite some being at mile 26 when the bomb went off. When we pulled up, Tom and Sara, who had only been a block away from the finish, were standing in the driveway. Their young son had just come home from a playdate with his Grandma, and was running up the drive to his dad. The look on Tom’s face as he scooped up Owen and held him was the most heart rending thing I have ever seen. I turned and saw the same look on my mom’s and Sara’s mother’s face as well.
Once home, the gravity of the situation began to be apparent. The video played endlessly on the news. Even worse, a terrifying text came in from a friend working in the med tent. It read simply “mass casualty event. amputations.” I nearly threw up. Sleep eluded me for two days.
People at work kept asking the same question: how close were you? The answer, no matter what I said, was just this: too close.
By Thursday, I had rested enough that a run was possible. In the early morning dark, another runner found us. She looked at my Boston shirt and nodded: she’d been there too; had finished is 4 hours and 3 minutes. We ran and talked, gradually working our way into the stories of our races, rather than what happened after. It felt good, felt normal… in a week where I thought nothing would ever be normal again.
I got home and decided to put that feeling to work:
In two months time, I am going to line up again, in Boston, to help those who are still suffering; those whose lives will not be the same again.
When all else fails, keep calm and run on.
Running through the darkness, helping to bring the light. On June 15, 2 months to the day after the attack on Boston, I will run a 50 miler, overnight, in honor of the victims, their families and my fellow athletes.
The Least Expected Marathon Post
There is too much feedback coming in through the martix and it is hard for me to sort it out…This morning, when I imagined writing my race report of the Boston Marathon, I pictured it including ” PR” and “amazing race”.
The last thing I would have ever expected to write was:
“I was clear of the finish line when the explosions went off”
The above was a sentence I typed a lot today.
I was in a building several blocks away; didn’t even hear the blast. I was in a cab heading for Storrow Drive when the cabby turned on the radio so I could hear what happened. He yelled and cursed at the speaker, shook his fist at the sky, as police and fire vehicles whipped in and out of traffic around us. I was out of the city just ahead of the police cordon that was secured most of area, frantically calling and messaging loved ones to let them know I was okay. It wasn’t until I got to my mom’s house that I saw the first pictures.
I cannot look at them again.I never thought that I would see this day. Never thought that our sport, which does so much to unite people of all kinds, would be scarred by people who seek to divide us.
To all my family, friends, co-workers and students who reached out today, thank you. I am humbled and honored to be in your lives. To all of my fellow athletes and their families, I am thinking of you and hope that you are safe. To the police, fire and and medical response teams in Boston, thank you a million times. There is no doubt in my mind that your actions saved many lives today.