Runners will have the last say in Boston

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 06:00 am

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Three Okotoks athletes will be among more than 25,000 runners who have chosen not to run away from a cowardly act of terrorism.

In fact, they are running to the very place where they were unfortunately part of bombings in which home-grown terrorists murdered three people and caused hundreds of injuries last year in what is the most famous race in the world.

Okotoks’ Gloria Boucher, Laura Roberts and Black Diamond’s Erna Ference will run in the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, just slightly over a year since the Boston tragedy.

As a runner, who has literally followed in the much faster footsteps of Boucher and Ference (I have not ran with Roberts, but I have seen her time – I would lag well behind her) all I can say is thank-you and congratulations.

Thank-you for ponying up your own bucks, putting in the long hours of training and to paraphrase Roberts, for not letting the bad guys win.

All three runners had the glory of participating in Boston snatched away from them — fortunately that was all they lost, no Canadians were injured in the terrorist act.

What was taken was the celebration of a glorious accomplishment in finishing the race.

Well, almost finished.

Ference was stopped approximately 800m short of finishing. I look forward to congratulating Ference – and all three — when they get back.

The congratulations, well, that is for just getting there. Boston is like Utopia to me — an imaginary great place that I will never reach.

Unlike most marathons, a runner has to qualify to run Boston (It is just Boston, like Tiger, Cher, Sinatra. For runners all you need is one word).

It’s not easy to qualify for Boston. Not only do you have to run a sanctioned 42.2-kilometre race, you have to do it in a certain time. I have ran the distance, but as for the qualifying time, well, my age allows me to go to Boston Pizza and order a cool one.

That may be just what I will do this coming Monday morning as I study the results of the Boston Marathon. Maybe I will go to a pub — if I can find one open —order a Sam Adams and toast the three ladies who have finished Boston.

The three ladies who also helped show the world that the good guys have won.


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