Boston Globe via Getty Images
Tim Bradbury via Getty Images
At least two survivors of the 2013 bombing participated in this year's race.
Reuters Photographer / Reuters
This is a running program that helps train people through supportive groups and provides a common goal for us to run, for clean water for kids. Water fundraising also makes a lot of sense to me as a runner. Runners are so aware of how much they depend on water, so it seemed like a natural fit.
Henrik Sorensen via Getty Images
Nairobi, a world-class city of commerce, culture and contrasts, is energized by a growing and demanding middle class. Pulsating with the creativity and aspirations of a youthful population, Kenya's dense regional cities are also gaining economic momentum. Kenyan runners are helping to make this happen.
Despite what the advertisers lead us to believe, there is no "ideal" running figure. The only requirement for calling yourself a runner is to lace up a pair of running shoes and start putting one foot in front of the other. Running is not about what you look like, but rather, what you see yourself becoming.
As a scared child, I ran away from the abuse around me, and as an adult, I used drugs and alcohol to run away from the trauma inside me. But here's the interesting part -- shortly after I got clean and sober, I actually took up the sport of running. This fall, I will be running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in the same day (126.6 km), not as a fundraiser, but simply to show others how resilient we are, even after the trauma of sexual violence. But most importantly, I hope that my campaign will build upon the momentum we are starting to see in the media about the prevalence of sexual violence and the need to address the countless lives that lay in its wake.
Stanislaw Pytel via Getty Images
In the past two years, I've been on my own journey. When two men tried to take my Boston memories away from me, I responded one way I knew I could, by vowing to get back. And to get back, there was only one thing to do -- do it harder, faster and with the purpose and love I've always had for the sport.
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
Boston for me is a vivid memory. It's getting to the Toronto airport and seeing all those Boston jackets. It's seeing the banners on the streets, it's visiting the finish line, or holding The Jacket for the first time, or looking up at the signs at the corner of Hereford and Boylston. It's about school bus rides, the village and high fives with kids on trampolines. It's about beer on the course, a kiss at Wellesley Hills that make you remember why it broke someone's heart. It's about the growing crowds, the Citgo sign and Fenway, and noontime baseball. It's about the everything about 26.2 but also what happens alongside that course, and of the days before and after that day.
Chase Jarvis via Getty Images
With the anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon approaching on April 15, photographer Robert X. Fogarty invited survivors and responders to return to the finish line to spread a message of...
Three weeks before last year's Boston marathon, I had reached another crux moment in my life. A secret that I had buried deep inside -- an overwhelming feeling of shame that had inevitably been an underlying factor in my life-long battles with addiction and depression, had finally come to the surface and needed to be set free. I somehow mustered the inner strength to do what I thought I would never do -- I disclosed to my family and friends that I was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The moment those words came out, I started get that "voice" back that had been taken away from me at such a young age.
2013 was recently dubbed, "The year of the Selfie," so let us turn the camera around on the sporting calendar and reflect on what shaped these past months.
I knew this day would come, sooner or later. The two runs I had completed earlier this week, were around zero Celsius and the weather forecast for the weekend was cold, very cold. It's 6.30am on Sunday morning and I'm looking through frosted glass at the outside thermometer. The red mercury line is at -22C, and I later find out its -26C with the wind chill.
Within 24 hours of the explosions at the Boston Marathon last April, another, more powerful one went off: Marathon registrations surged all over the country. The message was clear: You can't take this away from us.
The death toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh now stands at over 350 people. In a wonderfully sensitive essay, Jian Ghomeshi raised the question of proximity when it came to our response to human tragedies. Distance may have become arbitrary, but how we draw the lines to connect our dots to one another has not. We can easily grieve, and most rightfully so, with the victims of Boston because we can all picture ourselves there. A feeling of complete and utter vulnerability. But when it's market forces or the lack of regulations that inflict terror, how are we to feel?