Safe travels. Keep running.


For a lot of years now I’ve been part of the running community in America. So are many of you. A friend of mine ran the John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Run on the Runway 5K early Sunday before catching a flight to Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Run on the Runway 5 K, which is sponsored by the J.F.K Rotary Club, began in 1972. There also are races on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson and Chicago O’Hare. Runners love these events, mostly for the novelty of running on a runway. Plus, it doesn’t get any flatter.

But it is Boston that is in the heart of every runner and every American today.

There they were, 23,000 runners forming a river of love, deep into one of life’s unforgettable days, taking measure of their physical limitations as they reached the end of 26.2 miles, surrounded by thousands and thousands of fans cheering every runner with equal admiration.

Nobility, as the proverb goes, comes not from beating others but from bettering our previous selves.

And then the bombs. In a flash of exploding chemical plasma the finish area morphed into Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horror, killing at least three and maiming many, many more.

I waited several hours after the blasts before texting my friend, who is a gifted ski coach in Utah and was heading home to Switzerland, giving her time to talk with family around the country and parents back home. Maybe I feared no reply.

The Gate, which did an outstanding job of wrapping up the disaster for us here at FlyerTalk, suggested cellphone coverage was cut for security reasons. (Hardworking and ever-thoughtful Brian Cohen also directs us to FlyerTalk posts aimed at focusing aid.)

“Ja ja OK … just donated blood,” came a text reply from my friend late last night. (Not sure if she meant to the Red Cross or, knowing her sense of humor, she might have meant she donated blood to the pavement of Copley Square.)

The explosions and death and injury were unimaginable when the marathon started. Now it’s horrific history on Patriot Day in Boston.

As well, perhaps, another game changer for airport security.

In my view, it’s also a reminder to all of us at FlyerTalk to be ever vigilant in airports and anywhere else that travelers gather in large numbers.

We’re all part of Homeland Security; we’re all part of the TSA. We’re all in this together.

Safe travels. Keep running.


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Comments (Showing 5 of 5)

  • RedSnapper at 3:44pm April 17, 2013

    Please don’t include me in your “We’re all part of Homeland Security; we’re all part of the TSA.” statement. As a runner I want nothing to do with these vile organizations. Putting up with their shenanigans at the airport is bad enough. The last thing I want is to be searched, scanned, felt-up, harassed and delayed the next time I enter a race.

  • mountainpost at 4:02pm April 17, 2013

    Thank you RedSanpper. Duly noted, with apologies. You are, of course, correct. Here’s the revised copy:

    CORRECTION: “We’re all part of Homeland Security (except RedSanpper); we’re all part of the TSA (except RedSnapper).”

    Note to London Marathon officials: You might be a little nervous about the 37,000 runners coming in to run the London Marathon. You might even be thinking about enhanced security given all those missing-leg patients in Boston hospitals, but when RedSanpper shows up, just let him run. Personal freedom always trumps human carnage.

  • RedSnapper at 4:54pm April 17, 2013

    Welcome to flyertalk, mountainpost! The travel safety and security forum is a good critique of the abuses that the TSA subjects us to everyday at the airport. If you’ll hand around here a bit, you’ll notice that some of us care about civil rights. That includes the right to walk down the street without being assaulted by a bunch of blue shirts who have captured a total of zero (0) terrorists in their decade of existence.

    My personal freedom always trumps another’s personal cowardice.

  • mountainpost at 5:51pm April 17, 2013

    Thank you. SERIOUSLY. I’m with you man. I agree. I’m trying to learn my way around, I’m kind of a small-town boy, never traveled much. I’m so dumb I thought maybe the worst thing that could happen is to have your legs blown off. But I guess you’re right, the very worst thing is “to be searched, scanned, felt-up, harassed and delayed the next time I enter a race.”

    I was even thinking the security stuff was more related to packages and maybe bystanders. I didn’t know every time I enter a race wearing shorts, singlet and no socks (I’m not a pretty picture) I’d be felt-up.

    But wait, You call these cowards:

    You know, RedSanpper, maybe I’m not man enough for you. Like I told you, I’m just a small-town boy, so dumb I grew up on a ranch and so old that I went to Nam and saw legs blown up into nothing but red flecks of light.

    You don’t have to respond back cause I’m not going to be here. I’ve decided I’m just not man enough for FlyerTalk. Really, I can’t handle it. Yikes, you’re right. I’m a coward, too. Well, got to get in my run now. Good luck with making this an every-man-for-himself world.

  • bconver at 7:12pm April 17, 2013

    Great post Gerry! ‘Buyer beware’ should not apply to terrorist attacks.

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