I wanted to share an article written by Ian Crouch in the New Yorker….
If you’d fallen asleep for the past month, and had awakened to tune into a recent Boston Red Sox broadcast, you’d likely be surprised to learn that this bunch of Sox are in first place, but would be much more surprised to hear Don Orsillo, the play-by-play guy, read promos for something called the One Fund, established, as he notes during breaks in the action, to “help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.” Even if you haven’t slept through the last few weeks, the words still sound startling and strange, despite the blanketing coverage.
The blue-and-yellow One Fund logo, designed to look like a race bib, appears all over Boston these days, and is especially noticeable at the end of television commercials for companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Citizens Bank (both of which have pledged a hundred thousand dollars). As of this week, the One Fund had raised more than twenty-nine million dollars. Roughly eleven million has come from individual donations, while the rest has come from institutional and corporate gifts. This is not to say that these corporate donations are somehow sinister or purely self-promoting. Instead, they are just one marker of how, in the month since the bombing, there has been an alignment of charity, marketing, and commerce—which mostly serves laudable and important ends, but nonetheless is complex and, at times, disconcerting.
There is, for example, the phrase “Boston Strong,” which within hours of the attack had become a rallying cry for the city—a statement of resolution and solidarity in the face of fear and sadness. And, as happens these days with any rousing slogan, it appeared on T-shirts. Ink to the People, based in Milwaukee, worked with two students at Emerson College on a design that has raised more than eight hundred thousand dollars for the One Fund. (The shirts sell for twenty dollars—the company donated production costs on the first fifteen hundred shirts sold, and have given fifteen dollars for each after that.) If clever shirts, and other sleek retail items, motivate people who might not normally give money to donate to the victims, then they have served a noble purpose and achieved practical results. (Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong product line for cancer research did this.)
Yet there is a more efficient act of giving, which would be to send the money directly to the One Fund itself, skipping the middle production costs—as well as avoiding a chance for cashing in by the unscrupulous. On the streets of Boston, vendors hawk “Boston Strong” merch that seems certain to benefit no one but themselves.
The swiftness with which “Boston Strong” went from a comforting phrase to a fashion statement and casual marker of regional identity reveals a certain friction. We want to participate in a common cause, but consumption, as a primary expression of grief and pride, is inadequate. I wore my old Red Sox hat with a little more purpose in the days after the attack, and my instinct to cleave to the team was not unusual. The most common visual manifestation of the slogan “Boston Strong” incorporates the Red Sox “B” logo above the word “strong,” as if the Red Sox organization were sponsoring the city’s attempt to reconcile with terrorism. Which, in a cross-marketing sort of way, it has. The Red Sox, along with Major League Baseball and the Players Association, have donated more than six hundred thousand dollars to the One Fund; hats featuring the logo are on back order at the M.L.B.’s online store.
I truly want to thank you for the many calls, texts and emails of overwhelming expression of concern for my safety, and the safety of my family, my Dana-Farber partner, Brendan Barrie, and other close friends. Your thoughts and prayers was heartening during this awful tragedy.
My heart aches for Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi, the many others bombing victims and their families. You will always be a part of me with every run.
At this time there are no significant injuries to my fellow Dana-Farber runners, volunteers, or staff. Sadly, I have heard of a confirmed report of serious injuries to two family members of a Dana-Farber runner. Please keep them in your prayers.
12 seconds. It was the time between hearing the first explosion, questioning if this could actually be a terrorist attack, to hearing the second explosion, confirming your worst nightmare. It was the amount of time you had to process where every one of your love ones are long the 26.2 miles and determine if they are they safe from harm. Staring down Boylston St, moments after the blast, I knew my family was in the center of it all. It wasn’t until 5 p.m. when I knew everyone was safe and I was reunited with my wife.
The magic of the Boston Marathon is not 27,000 runners participating in the world’s oldest annual marathon. It is how 500,000 people complete the marathon together. From Hopkinton to Boston, the marathon route is lined with spectators and volunteers cheering and helping every runner along the way like no other. They have one mission: get you to the finish line. Year after year, they are there for you and they never disappoint. For many of us, we couldn’t imagine running Boston without them. On this day, it seems we are one big family.
Monday, our family was attacked. Although we cannot truly empathize with those, whose love ones where hurt or killed, we mourn with you. I promise, we will keep you in our hearts. I promise, we will demand justice against those responsible for this horrendous and cowardly act. And as I struggle to do something, anything, I promise to run on Patriot’s Day, half a millions strong, for you.
Completing your first long slow run (LSR) is usually the sign that you have started your marathon season, yet this year it was also the start of my training. After an unintentional 6 month hiatus from what most runners would consider real training I jumped in feet first with an 8.2 mile run. If I was giving anyone else advice, I would have said take it slow and get a few runs in first. I just felt like I need to remember why I need to get my runs in without excuses. I’ve had many lately.
I will have plenty of help keeping to my training. My wife Nikki has signed up again for Boston, as well as good friends of ours, Therese and Steve. The L St Running club and DFMC will be having managed LSRs which is always appreciated. Bethany has volunteered for the weekends when the schedule doesn’t allow for it. Speed works will soon begin on Tuesday nights at Tufts. Lynn and her friends are hooking us up with a water stop during the Hopkinton to BC run in March. How nice is that!
My season of marathon training will be complemented by the cloud once again. I am using Training Peaks for my training plan. Every night it emails my day’s workout and a little peak at tomorrow‘s plan. The online calendar shows each day’s workouts and highlights the week’s activities, mileage and gives some useful advice. The Daily Mile allows me an easy way to track my actual mileage. It works well with my Garmin Forerunner 410 by uploading my run data to the site. Your DM online friends encourage you during your goods and bad workouts. It definately keeps you motivated. WordPress is my blog of choice to write about running, fund raising, nutrition and other cool stuff. I’ll be twitting from @Mile25Project this year too.
It appears like I am off to a good start. Only 13 weeks left, it will go by fast. It always does.