Sarasota News Leader

04/19/2013

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Sarasota News Leader April 19, 2013 OPINION Page 68 FORMER MARATHONER REFLECTS ON THE BOSTON BOMBINGS By Norman Schimmel Contributing Writer COMMENTARY Newspaper and television analysts have offered their insights into the horror that rose out of the 2013 Boston Marathon. As a distance runner and former Manhattan resident who lived through 9/11, I truly understand how devastating terrorist activities are to a community, state and country. The timing of the Patriots Day blasts in Boston has been fully explained: If you want to make a statement to America, you choose a target or time that has historical merit. For marathoners, it was especially devastating. Many new runners are very satisfied with a morning outing or work on a treadmill. Others choose to become road racers, regardless of the age when they start. Running is the only sport I know in which professionals and amateurs are on the field at the same time. You see world-class runners turning in five-minute miles and winning races and prizes. This is their living. Following them — occasionally at times twice theirs or even higher — are the amateur runners. Everyone who enters a race wins when he or she finishes. It is that type of Norman Schimmel competes in the Boston Marathon in 1987. Photo courtesy of Norman Schimmel comradeship and enjoyment of sport — and maybe a cold beer afterwards — that makes competing so worthwhile and almost an addiction. The rule generally is if you can run 6.2 miles (a 10K race), you have the capability to train and run a marathon. Many who start running claim they have no such goal — only to catch the fever and start striving for the marathon distance. There are even a few who go beyond

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