Running #BostonStrong: One Year Later

Living on a ship has it’s occasional and infrequent drawbacks, one being the limited access to “real world’ stimulus. We have very few live channels, but 3 of them are ostensibly “News” (aka: opinion and pundits wrapped around current events, plus BBC).

I don’t know what it’s like in the Real World, but the Boston Marathon coverage this year that I’ve been able to access has been miserable.

I was hoping for coverage of this event for what it is – a sports event with wonderful overtones of individual triumph and perseverance. There are favourite, athletes coming to this event with expectations and strategies – and personal stories coloured by last year’s events. I was hoping for a thoughtful coverage of that story.

What I saw felt like an overwrought, disingenuous rehash of last year’s tragedy and a fear-porn level coverage of security measures, “just in case”.

Maybe I was watching the wrong channels (I know in once case I definitely was), but I don’t think coverage of the Boston Marathon this year should start with a 60 second recap of the winner’s names with a short shot of them crossing the finish line, followed by 3 minutes of a reporter explaining that backpacks weren’t allowed while holding up a backpack. You know, in case we don’t know what a backpack looks like.

I don’t mind the coverage of the security measures being a story leading up to the race. It helps people understand that they’ll be safe. But on this day. On the triumphant day that Boston takes back the Marathon, why can’t we just leave the coverage to the runners?

I mean, Meb Keflezighi was the first American to win the race in 31 years with a PR. (He’s 39 years old. Think about that.) That’s a huge deal! That’s news.

Kenyan Reta Jeptoo won her third year in a row, and set a new course record of almost 2 minutes and the second (Bizunesh Deba) and third (Mare Dibaba)finishers ALSO beat the old course record. That’s news.

This is an incredible event in sports, where mortals can run in the footprints of gods. They should receive the respect they deserve.

What was your favourite part of the Boston Marathon today?