Boston Marathon Tragedy: My Thoughts

No words can express how I felt yesterday.

Anger. Shock. Disbelief. Sadness. Confused.

Right now, my thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of yesterday’s bombing. (I won’t call it a terrorist attack, at least not yet)

I even heard one of the dead was an 8 year old boy.

8 years old!

At the wrong place and the wrong time.

I had a vested interest in the 2013 Boston Marathon as I have been coaching and mentoring a M50 runner, who completed the race in a PR of 3:26.

The blasts occurred at 4:09 (finish line clock, see video below), which meant my runner was finished, getting something to eat and in the ice tub, all within 100 meters of the blast.

The next 24 hours would change everyone’s lives.

Lessons Learned?

Dalai Lama XIV quote

I’m not going to preach any religious beliefs here (this is a Track blog, and to some degree, a success blog) but there is strong message between the Boston Marathon tragedy and the true meaning of life.

This applies to any track and field athlete and coach, but it also applies to everyone, and to all of mankind.

To quote the Dalai Lama XIV:

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’

No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

Hope is why we run.  Hope is why we go to College.  Hope is why we have children, and hope for the very best.

Some things in life you cannot control, coincidence or not, but we all have that one core belief that makes us do what we do. 

It’s why I Blog.   To share the knowledge to make us better coaches.  To produce better athletes.  And to produce successful kids no matter what sport or trade they do.

Hope is what wakes me up in the morning.

We all hope for a faster time.  A gold medal.  A new car.  A bigger house. 

Or maybe you hope for a cure to an ailing disease.  Maybe someone you know has cancer.  Lots of hope going on there!

And finally, you hope for a better world, of good health and equality regardless of skin color or gender.

No one deserves to live in fear, but we all have hope.

And that is one trait that is keeping us going.  Otherwise, this would be my very last blog entry.  But I have no intentions of doing so, because if I lose my hope, and to the million of readers over the past 6 years, then THAT would be a real disaster.

Boston aftermath

On the ground is 78 year old Bill Iffrig.

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • “I won’t call it a terrorist attack, at least not yet”

    Any particular reason why? It’s pretty much been confirmed for a while that these were explosive devices, not gas explosions. What else would you call detonating explosive devices in a crowded, popular, internationally televised sporting event? It doesn’t matter what nationality does it. It could be al-qaeda, it could be a fringe militia movement, right-wing extremists, a lone nut, etc. Terror is terror.

    • @Scott, “terrorist attack” would imply a foreign or international enemy. So until someone claims responsibility, or law enforcement makes an arrest, we can’t call it such. But certainly I would call it an attack that creates fear or “terror”. I’ve waited at the finish line way too many times in several road races. This one was way too spooky for me.

      • ““terrorist attack” would imply a foreign or international enemy”

        I disagree. Timothy McVeigh was certainly not a foreign or international enemy. He was homegrown, 100% American.