Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Last night, whilst I was in my room eating dinner after a double gym session, my housemate stuck his head round the door and informed me that bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon. My twitter feed was awash with shocked, angry, confused comments. I'm sure you'll have heard or seen various reports and maybe even footage of the blast and aftermath.

What has happened is terrible. The marathon seems like such an odd target, apart from the fact it is a large gathering of people where a big impact can be made. When you think of the reasons people put themselves forward for marathons, charities, good causes, personal goals... it is senseless and awful. Ever since I heard the news my thoughts have been with the runners, spectators, support services and everyone else who was there and especially with those who are injured or haven't accounted for their loved ones.

It's rare that I feel affected by stories like this. Obviously 9/11 was tragic but I didn't really connect with it in the way that so many others did. But this is different and my reaction (which BBC Surrey called on me to share on air this morning) has taken me by surprise. I think it's because the running community is so close knit. We can all imagine ourselves, our supporters, in that situation. It feels very close, even though it took place on the other side of the ocean, because so many runners talk to each other every day. I've never experienced as strong and supportive a connection as I've had with other runners and while there are elites and beginners it's always felt like a very involving and friendly community.

I've felt very shaken by the news. There's no reason to be, really. There's no reason why anything should happen at the London Marathon but I suppose you can't help but wonder. There is some nervousness about Sunday now, for ourselves and our friends and family who will be on the sidelines, which the organisers are handling very well, sending out communications and reviewing security. There's not much else to be done. I'll be running regardless, but now it will be as much a show of solidarity and defiance as for personal and charitable reasons.

In the meantime the first line responders, the emergency services and the general public who have helped runners in Boston by providing shelter, communication channels, blood and so on, deserve to be mentioned as examples of how people pull together and are generally good. And we would do well to remember that.


  1. Well said Vikki, we all feel this. It happened to our people.

    Take courage on Sunday, make it a day of celebration for you and your supporters x

    1. Thank you Amy, running on Sunday will have even more meaning now. I intend to make the most of every second running with "our people".