Gut Reaction

I first learned of Dan Harper’s “eventful” run late last April in the same way most important information is presented today: via a Facebook status update. My gut reaction to that was one of outrage. Stepping back to think about it gave way to a new perspective, one of more understanding. Putting myself in the position of the law enforcement officials in town at that time and I can see how patience would be wearing thin and everyone would be eager to just ‘get the guy’ and put an end to what turned out to be an insane couple of days.

From the moment the bombs went off on Boylston St, the police were on high alert and sleep was probably an afterthought. By the time the shootout and intense manhunt of Thursday night/Friday morning came around, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that emotion, frustration and exhaustion were all running equally high.

On this website we cover running news, results, training, etc., but another thing we do is give runners a platform to share their story. Reading about what strange things may happen to a runner over the course of a run usually makes for an interesting story. Well, this is the ultimate shit that happened to me on my run story.

It’d be easy to sit here and say ‘well this could’ve been handled differently’, etc., but that’s not what this is ultimately about. If we say we understand that there were extenuating circumstances then we can’t sit here and pick apart the way the cops behaved in detaining Dan. That just wouldn’t be cutting them any slack.

Another topic that we discussed was doing a side by side shot of Dan and the suspect. After giving it much thought, we decided we did not want to have that coward’s picture on our website. Instead we opted to go with some pics of Dan (most of which were taken at the spot of the encounter) and a link to a photo of the suspect. Do they look alike? Well, that’s up to you to decide. Maybe now that so much time has passed you may not see so much resemblance. But when you’re stationed out on the streets in Boston during a manhunt it’s probably a different story.

We’ve been in communication with Dan now for almost a year, talking about what happened and developing this story. Can’t stress enough how it’s all about just telling the story here how it happened. Through various conversations with Dan it’s been plain to see that he harbors no ill will nor does he hold any grudges over what happened. It was certainly an extraordinary circumstance, and fortunately nothing came of it other than a 45 minute break in the middle of his run.

From a runner’s perspective, it flat out sucks to be forced to stop and wait because of things like bad drivers, clueless pedestrians and obnoxious cyclists. But to be stopped, handcuffed, searched and questioned for 45 minutes mid-run because of some act perpetrated by a couple of assholes? That is a whole new level of absurdity. But ultimately it boiled down to a pretty good story about what happened during one crazy run that Dan gets to tell.

Most importantly, the joint efforts of local and federal officials resulted in them getting the guy later that day, and now justice can be served.

If you haven’t read Dan’s story, then click here to check it out: Suspect On The Run

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