I was hoping to post something on Wednesday with my thoughts on the marathon a year out, but Tuesday night’s events left me exhausted in more ways than one. I’m glad no one got hurt and that there was no actual potential for violence, and I hope he finds the help that he needs. I also hope his family gets some privacy and the support that they surely need as well. There’s a lot out there on the marathon, some better than others. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite marathon-related things hanging around the internet.
Jeff Bauman, seen by many as the face (along with Carlos Arredondo, he of the cowboy hat) of the Boston Marathon survivors wrote a great piece at the Guardian explaining how he feels about the famous wheelchair photo, and how he hopes we’ll view it. I think it’s incredibly powerful for him to take charge of his own narrative and of this devastating thing that was inflicted upon him. It’s also fascinating from the standpoint of photography and journalism to think about whether taking this photo was a good idea, and to hear Jeff’s thoughts about the image and the man responsible. If you didn’t see the coverage at the time, you’ll also note that most people who weren’t on twitter at the time or actively seeking it out haven’t seen the complete image, in a self-imposed censorship similar to the images of people jumping from the twin towers. The images are seen as too much, and too damaging a way for a loved one to get bad news (as Jeff’s parents did) and too inescapable to be fair to those who suffered. If you enjoy Jeff’s perspective, check out his book Stronger, out now.
I’m a big fan of charity that harnesses the consumerism of the US. It’s not going away, so at least let’s harness it for good. These bracelets, made of last year’s marathon street banners benefit the One Fund and can also lend a sense of solidarity. A shout out to John Hancock for covering the administrative and production costs of the bracelets, so 100% of the cost goes to the fund. Over $30,000 has been raised so far, but you can only get the bracelets until Sunday at 6 pm.
I have to mention that the Boston Globe won a Pulitzer for their coverage last year. There was a lot of terrible coverage (“It’s almost as if a bomb went off…”–someone on CNN) so I’m glad they were recognized for not falling for conspiracy theories (what’s up, Anonymous’s completely inaccurate reporting, say hi to your mother for me), racism, or just blaming random people. Congratulations, and thank you.
The great image at the top of this post was designed by Northeastern alums and good friends of mine Jack and Kate of Union Jack Creative. You can support local art and a local small business by purchasing the poster online, and charity runners get a discount, in honor of Kate’s two years as a Boston Marathon charity runner for the Boston Debate League, a great organization teaching inner city kids about debate and inspiring confidence and academic improvement everywhere they go.
Fellow NU grad, traveler, and partner in crime Kade Krichko was able to interview fellow Reading resident Mark Fucarile, survivor, about his experience getting back to skiing after he lost his right leg above the knee. I love stories showing people with hindered physical or mental abilities living full lives, not being held back. You may recognize Fucarile from the stories about his fantastic all-expenses paid Fenway Park wedding to his long-time girlfriend. They arrived via blue and yellow duckboats, because Boston.
If you have the time, check out WBUR’s Oral History Project on the Marathon. It’s a mix of famous and not so famous storytellers sharing their experience. In a similar and somewhat-connected, Northeastern University is collecting a digital archive, including some of my images from NUPR’s special online edition. It’s called “Our Marathon” and can be seen in part through May 2nd in International Village, which is behind Ruggles and next to the police station. You can contribute to Our Marathon or the Oral History Project online.
The afternoon memorial was lovely, and I think Patrick Downes had the best speech of the day. It must be hard on a bunch o regular people, who did not lead public lives, to suddenly be thrust in the spotlight. People suddenly want them to make speeches, write books, even comfort them, regardless of the fact that they don’t necessarily have any training in any of these areas. Patrick makes what must have been a very emotional day look grateful and easy.
If you’re looking to contribute to a charity runner, I personally know 3 who are running for great causes, with amazing stories. Jordyn Parsons is my former roommate and a Northeastern student, and she’s running for the Melanoma Foundation of New England. She currently needs a little less than $2,000 to reach her goal of $7,500.
Elizabeth Shea, who is from my home town went to Mass General’s Pediatric Oncology Center with hystiocytosis. Someone ran the marathon in her honor as part of the patient-partner program. It meant so much to her that once she was healthy, she wanted to pay it forward. Her dad was also inspired, and ran four Boston Marathons in her name, raising thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research. She ran the marathon last year with her father but was stopped at mile 25.5, and is looking to complete the journey on Monday. Donate to her efforts here.
Laura Williams went to high school and college with me, as did her older brother Chris, who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis three years ago. She is running in his honor for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and she needs to raise just under $1,000 to meet her goal of $10,000. You can also buy a shirt to benefit her efforts.
What’s your favorite coverage of the one year anniversary? Feel free to share links, images, or your own stories and experiences in the comments.
See you on race day.