On the list of things I thought I might have to proclaim one day, “I was at a race where a bomb went off” wasn’t even a thought.
Alas, here I am, having been patiently awaiting the start of the Seaside Semper Five(k) on Saturday morning with my mother and BFF, only to find out that that above statement is now true.
I was at a race where a bomb went off.
That sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it?
Thankfully, due to an unintended late start, when this garbage can exploded, no one was hurt. In addition, part of the explosive did not detonate, so it was not as impactful as intended (also thankfully). As the “1 Mile Fun run” was starting, I said to my mom and BFF innocently, “Oh, they have a cannon at this race?” Of course, later we found out that the cannon sound I heard was actually the bomb, supposedly somewhere near what would have been the ¾ mile of the race. The 5k had been scheduled to start at 9:30, and with the timing of when the device went off, clearly, it was intended to go off as runners were going by. So luck was on our side, and all that happened was the race directors got everyone moved off the street in a calm fashion. Kudos to all involved for keeping the racers out of harm’s way and calm, which they did beautifully.
Look at those calm people, just milling around, before the race would’ve started! Pre-race selfies! Normal pre-race things! And then…
Update – Runner’s World just posted a “timeline” of the event, if you’re interested in reading: “How an Unplanned Race May Have Saved…”
But seriously, who bombs a small town 5k? This wasn’t a big ticket race. It was for a military charity, sure. But there were mayyyyybe 2000 people there for it, in a now-sleepy beach town after summer. What a tiny, dumb target. But I suppose inciting fear is inciting fear, and I guess that was the bomber’s goal. Which makes me pretty angry that some people really ARE malicious. I am one of those people who truly, honestly believes that most people are good and aren’t looking to harm others. If nothing else, this reminded me that there really ARE some a-holes out there. What good would putting some garbage can shrapnel into runners have done at “saying” something? Really? What would that have proven as an act of violence? Absolutely nothing. Will I stop running races because I’m afraid they’ll all be bombed by idiots? Absolutely not.
Thanks for the reminder that the world isn’t all rainbows and glitter, jerks. Now stop trying to hurt people. It isn’t solving anything.