Brooklyn runners were shocked and saddened by the bombings that rocked their sport at its most prestigious event yesterday.
Many borough joggers tore their attention away from television news and Twitter feeds last night for their customary evening runs, but their thoughts remained on the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, reportedly responsible for at least three deaths and more than 130 injuries.
“I won’t be able to forget this,” said Park Slope runner and 2004 Boston Marathon participant Radu Simon during a workout in Prospect Park.
The deadly explosions made running an afterthought on the sport’s biggest day: unlike the popular ING New York City Marathon, or the nascent Brooklyn Marathon, the majority of Boston Marathon entrants earn their spots by logging fast times at other races, meaning the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to the Back Bay is the highest aspiration for many distance runners.
“It’s terrible — it’s so tragic,” said Prospect Heights runner Leah Ratner. “The Boston Marathon is a huge deal. It’s a landmark marathon for Boston.”
The North Brooklyn Runners Club and the Prospect Park Track Club said all of their participating members were safe and accounted for in separate posts on Twitter, but members of the racing groups were shaken by the attacks.
“I can’t even put into words how heartbreaking this is,” Prospect Park Track Club member Jess Yeomans wrote on her blog. “As a runner, my heart is so heavy. My thoughts and prayers are with Boston and our running community.”
Some runners said the fatal attack will make them reconsider taking part in major races.
“I’m going to think twice before entering a marathon now or doing any kind of high visibility events,” said Simon.
Others sought solace in the sport itself.
“Running is one of the best freedoms I have ever known, so I’m going to stop gawking now and go run in Brooklyn while thinking about Boston,” tweeted Sarah Hromack.