"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at email@example.com
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
It's been a while since I update this blog. I'd love to say (write) that I was busy saving the world, but it turns out I was just busy …
Anyhow, in the shadow of all the hubbub surrounding the bombings at the Boston Marathon, it led me to contemplate a bit about running.
Really, the bombing could have happened anywhere. If it were at a baseball stadium, the attention would have been focused on the "national pastime," or at our beloved football addiction had a bomb gone off in Texas Stadium. Instead, it happened at a major running event, and now we see a lot of focus — and security — at road races across the country.
I raced with about 50,000 others at the 37th Bloomsday race in Spokane on May 5. I guess I was expecting some sort of bump in security — I saw plenty. Of course, in previous races, I was never looking for armed guards or anything; I'm sure they were there, but I simply never noticed them. This time around — my 10th Bloomsday race (or so) — they were out in force.
I think we all felt pretty safe. Participants received rubber bracelets that read, "Bloomsday Stand with Boston." I also saw plenty of hand-written or hastily-printed messages about Boston on T-shirts - pretty cool.
It felt good to run with people who wanted to show love for other runners and race support they've never met but got hurt doing something they love. As Scott Leadingham, author of a pre-Bloomsday column in Spokane's "Inlander" wrote, "When you run, you're never alone."
John Sutter wrote a nice piece about running in the aftershocks of the Boston Marathon tragedy (see cnn.com). The self-proclaimed coach potato pledged to run a marathon by April 15, 2014 — the one-year anniversary of Boston.
"I am by no means a regular runner - or even a runner at all," Sutter wrote. "One of my friends saw a post about this idea on Facebook and thought I was joking. So please don't feel shy about signing up to do something new. I have no idea what I'm getting myself into - and I think that's probably a good thing, at least for now."
Anywho, I'm headed to Port Townsend SUnday for the 35th Rhody Run, a 12-K. There, the race organizers are planning a memorial for Boston Marathon victims
"Recreation running, even competitive road running, is a means to and method for a healthy life," race organizers sent in a mass e-mail to participants. "It works for many. We see them on our town streets, park trails and at a more focused venue like Port Townsend’s Rhody Run."
"What you don’t expect to see are running companions and family supporters lying wounded or dead at the finish of a marathon. Such a tragic vision is now preserved in reality following this year’s Boston Marathon."
"What affected Rhody Run participants and organizers was the personal toll the Boston bombings had on their runners: those whose names and faces are familiar competitors at the Port Townsend event. Multiple age-record-holder Bill Iffrig of Everett; multiple men’s overall champion Uli Steidl with his wife Trisha, Seattle; current Rhody Run men’s defending champion Joe Gray, Seattle, personify 'local' participants at Boston registered to compete at Rhody Run XXXV May 19."
Rhody Run Race Director Jennifer Little had this to say following the Boston tragedy:
“Personally, I'm having a hard time processing what happened in Boston ... in addition to the horrible and cowardly violence that killed and maimed, the fact that for many thousands of people the hard-won dream of running (and finishing) The Boston was stolen. I hope that the folks who didn't get to complete the race will be able to participate next year if they choose."
"We want our Rhody Run this year to reaffirm our collective health goals, but also to bear witness to those who suffered at the Boston event," she said. "We’re going to recognize our participating survivors, those who suffered injury and most important, our continuing determination to provide a competitive run that cares for its entrants."
(In addition to honoring Boston victims, this year's Rhody race is dedicated to the memory of founding board member Patricia Simpson. Her name appears on the finishers’ shirts as final tribute to her contributions to the event and her community. She died last year at age 76.)
The Rhody Run is one of my favorites. It's a beautiful, yet challenging race course, with hills and a few flats and beautiful scenery, nice people and great support staff.
If you're interested in signing up for the May 19 Rhody race, day-of-race registration opens at 9 a.m. and closed at 10:30 a.m. on the Fort Worden State Park parade field. See rhodyrun.com for more info. There's also a Kids Sprint for Health at 9:30 a.m. that is open and free to all youngsters ages 9 and under; no pre-registration is necessary.
I'll be there, running for Boston and my own health.