When my friend and coach Rick Hellard of Zone 3 Sports donated his Boston Marthon finisher's medal to Medals 4 Mettle I was speechless at the generosity. I spent a few moments just holding it, marveling at the fact that I'll never earn one.
Then the events of this week unfolded, and the medal took on an even greater signifigance. Knowing that so very many people- runners, spectators, first responders, and more- were forever changed leaves me shaken.
I wondered what to do with the medal, because it seemed so much greater than the sum of it's parts. Then Medals 4 Mettle sent out an email from our Boston Chapters:
All of us at Medals4Mettle are saddened by the unimaginable events at the 2013 Boston Marathon. This historic event celebrates the freedom we have to run through the streets of one of America's great cities on Patriot's Day. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who must deal with the loss of life and the pain of injury. Medals4Mettle will humbly accept donations of 2013 Boston Marathon finishers' medals to be sent to our Boston area chapters. We will then place Medals4Mettle ribbons on them and award them to the courageous victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon and the first responders that raced to help them while respecting the privacy of all victims and family members. To donate, please send medals to our Boston Area chapters listed on our chapter page.
So there it was, my answer. I have contacted Rick to see if he'd like to include a message with his medal, and I'll now return it to it's home in Boston, where hopefully it will serve as a small token of thanks to someone who deserves our support. The fact that our running family is so far flung yet so close just makes me all the prouder to be a member.
My first race since the tragedy in Boston will be as Digital Champion for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. This Sunday I will proudly wear the bib above, along with my race bib, to support our running family. I'll also wear as much blue and yellow as I can find.
As a final thought, I leave you with something that brought me to tears. The article sums it up far better than I ever could. I followed this story from the runner's first posts on FB, and am beyond happy that she succeeded in finding the man who's act of kindess was felt the world over.