11Alive's Julie Wolfe is an avid runner and morning reporter. Tuesday morning, she joined the Atlanta running community for a Silent Mile to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. This is the story behind the story.
Blogging Boston: Reporting and running crash together
I hesitate to write this blog because there's so much out there. Emotions that are still very raw and very real.
But I write a blog about reporting and running. This week, those parts of my life came crashing together in a terrible and inspiring way. It's impossible for me to let this week go WITHOUT writing a blog.
Like most of you, I watched the pictures come in with a sick feeling in my stomach. Just one week earlier, I had crossed a very similar looking finish line in Paris. In fact, that finish line, like every finish line, looked familiar to me. It's an image that's always brought a sense of happiness, accomplishment, and relief.
But I'm not just a runner, I'm a reporter. So, I started making calls, trying to track down local Atlanta runners in Boston. While working my running community sources, I called Karen Kaye from Big Peach Running Company. She was working on tracking down runners for me, but we're both runners. And each of us watching those pictures from opposite ends of the phone, we got choked up.
"Are you planning anything for tomorrow morning?" I asked.
"Like what?" she wondered. I'd participated in silent miles in the past to remember someone lost. I shared that with her. "And I ran with it," she later told everyone.
The response to the #SilentMile was huge. Amazing. Inspiring. Yes, I talk a lot, but this part is told so much better in the words and pictures of others. Watch it here.
But there's another part of the story you probably don't know. Karen and I were both inundated with requested to talk about the Silent Mile. She was on almost every radio station in Atlanta, including a BBC roundtable with international journalists. I was still wearing my sweaty clothes from the morning run when we met back up at the V103 studios at 2:30 for the Big Tigger Show.
This morning, when I was searching for other information, I kept running across mentions of the #SilentMile EVERYWHERE. In media reports across the nation and the world. One Facebook friend told me her husband saw the story on an elevator in Chicago.
That's what YOU did.
And so, in the cloud of anger, confusion, and sadness, the Atlanta running community rose up as a something good. I am so proud of you. I am so proud to be a part of this community. It feels fitting to end with a quote I've seen passed around: "If you're trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target."
You can follow Julie on Twitter @JulieWolfe and Read her blog at AtlantaRunningReporter.blogspot.com