Running shoes connected by history

Running shoes have a history. They tell a story of where a runner has been. If you have not yet seen the cover of the most recent Boston Magazine, then you will not want to miss it. They acted or reacted fast after the Boston Marathon. The cover contains 120 running shoes in the shape of a heart. Each pair was worn by someone who ran the Boston Marathon. A clever and meaningful way to honor the 2013 Boston Marathon, both for the runners and those impacted by the events that transpired at the finish line.

It makes me think about the history and journey of my running shoes. The many, many pairs I have worn through that are still in my closet. I have had a hard time parting with them. The worn soles of the miles I have put on them. Whether I was running and reading on the treadmill, or passing the time outside there was a story that followed each of my runs. It might have been the book I was reading while on the treadmill, the novel that kept me going, or the new knowledge or insights I learned from a business book while on my daily run. It might have been the houses I passed in my neighborhood and the music that kept me energized. Whether inside or outside, each pair of running shoes helped me process my day, my work issues, my family life, whatever dilemma was thick in thought was sure to have been mulled over in my current pair of running shoes.

What were each of those runners thinking about while running the Boston Marathon? Was it their first marathon, or one of many? Did they struggle to finish that day, or on their way to breaking a personal record? How many miles were already racked up on that pair worn during the Boston Marathon?

That cover photo brings together many lives and untold stories of how each runner got to the Boston Marathon. You will want to read the article (shared above) from John Wolfson, the Editor-in-Chief of Boston Magazine and how they were able to quickly change their cover issue, as well as interview each of the runners that have shoes on the cover, who tell their stories of their race. Copies will be on newsstands on Tuesday, and other stories not included in the print edition will be online. I would like to get a copy.

8 thoughts on “Running shoes connected by history

  1. Awesome. Really quite a cool photo and you ask a lot of great questions. What are all of the stories that fill these shoes?

    I ran one marathon and trained for a second. A marathon is like an iceberg: the event itself is what most people see, but really, that’s the last 26.2 miles of months and months of miles • early morning training sessions before the sun comes up • weekend long-runs squeezed in between an alarm and brunch or when the kids wake up • weeks and weeks of 6 days of workouts and 1 day off… maybe.

    I had over 500 miles and was on my second pair of shoes by the time my marathon came around. That means that 95% of my marathon experience happened before the actual event! The people that cheered me on only saw 5% of my miles over the last many months. Kim was the only one who had an understanding of my commitment to finishing that event… finishing at a level I was going to be happy with.

    Shoot, when did this become about me?! What I’m getting at is, marathons are emotional events that are symbols of commitment, determination and perseverance. We are committed to supporting the Boston victims. We will persevere in the face of adversity showing that together, we greatly outnumber those who do evil things.


    • Great comment! You are soo right. Those that do not see a marathoner-in-training before the marathon do not know about the blisters, sweat, possible tears, more blisters and tons more sweat that happens to prep for the race itself. I want to hear more about your marathon AND your marathon training. I have questions! This horrific event has only bonded runners even more!


  2. Wow, I love this post. Every paragraph begs to be commented on, but let me just summarize by saying I appreciate your words about your own shoes/processing, and then the questions you have about the runners. This, for me, is by far the most touching and meaningful post I’ve read about the Boston marathon because you talk about the runners as people with histories, feelings, and goals rather than just victims of a particular event.

    I’ve had a really hard week and today I had a bleak moment of “what am I doing in this world that has meaning?” and something about your post today has given me inspiration to keep writing. Thank you!


    • Thank you so much for your very sweet comment today. It made my day! Yes, definitely keep writing. I find it is such therapy for me 🙂


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