Shining the Light after Boston Marathon Tragedy

Sonny on the track at the 2005 World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
article top

I run for a lot of different reasons – some physical, some emotional, some social, some spiritual and some psychological.


Fellow runner and sports journalist Mike Wise, writing in Tuesday’s Washington Postnewspaper, says, “I know there are things worked out in your head on a run that cannot be worked out in a therapist’s office or a friend’s living room, a clarity only a physical journey can bestow.”

“Putting in the miles, getting to a place of almost serenity and purpose in your running, can take you away from whatever was gnawing at you before you made the decision to put on your shoes and walk out the door.”

On Tuesday morning, I put on my shoes, walked out the door and ran for an hour in honor of the victims of Monday’s deadly bomb blasts near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon.

I thought of the three people who were killed in the blasts, including an eight-year-old boy.

He’ll never run again.

Friend and fellow runner Todd Gothberg finished his 15th Boston Marathon on Monday.

Before the race, Todd told me, “I won’t sacrifice the gift.”

He was talking about the gift of being able to run.

We both know people who can no longer run for health reasons.

But to be crippled or maimed or killed by what the White House is describing as “clearly an act of terror?”

I remember the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

My neighbors and I walked to the curb and held lit candles for the victims.

We must shine the light in the face of such darkness.

Shortly after Monday’s tragedy, Todd said, “I can’t fathom this. I’m praying.”

I can’t fathom this either, Todd, so I’m praying and running and trying to shine the light.



Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe. The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.