Boston Marathon Memorials Part VI: Albertson & Barnett

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As we prepare for the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy, Level Renner is re-releasing the memorials and reflections of the running community written one year ago in the wake of the 117th running (these letters from readers were originally published in our May/June 2013 issue). Our intention is to pay proper respect and tribute to the events of last year’s race. We want nothing more than to handle the tragedy with appropriateness and tact. Because we see ourselves as an open platform for runners, this series is an expression of our audience’s thoughts from a year ago.  Thus, in the following pages, you will find an array of responses.  Some are angry, some are numb, most are just plain sad.  But some offer hope. Most show the strength and resolve of our community. The goal of this series is to remember and pay proper respect to the horrific events of April 15, 2013.  We will release one post per day in this series in the days leading up to the marathon.

Below is the sixth installment of a twelve part series. There are two reflections within by Luke Albertson and Jake Barnett, respectively.

Runners shouldn’t be allowed to die. They work too damn hard stretching their God-given bodies to the limits to have their lives untimely severed. They stretch, stride, and strive…but are stunted? An eight-year old died. Another two passed on. Still others lost the very limbs that carried them through 26 miles.

Seven years ago, I witnessed a fifteen-year-old teammate collapse during a 5k while his father looked on, saying, “He’s our only child.” This Monday a Facebook post from another father requested prayers for his son’s amputation.

Runners shouldn’t die. Like miles run, we grow from these experiences and carry on, soles against asphalt, putting the miles—and trials—down in the log.

—Luke Albertson

photo by EJN

With respect to all those who were hurt, I feel like I need to share a very positive story from Monday. My sister, her boyfriend, and I were able to run 7 miles of the marathon with my Dad and help him finish his 19th consecutive Boston Marathon. Ever since he lost his brother Jack to cancer 16 years ago, he has run as a member of the Dana-Farber team, raising a cumulative total of over $200,000 for cancer research. It was incredible to run some of the way with him on Monday, and no act of terror will ever diminish the special significance that the Boston Marathon holds for our family.

—Jake Barnett


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