April 21, 2013

Running: Let marathoners' good deeds put hatemongers on the run

By John Rolfe

(Continued from page 1)

Rohde became involved with GOTR through a former Mount Desert Island High classmate (and cross country standout) Jeanne Higgins, who now lives in Seattle. When the two connected on Facebook a couple of years ago, Rohde learned of Higgins' involvment with GOTR -- she co-founded the Puget Sound program in 2002 -- and that Maine was one of three states that didn't have a council. Now the program is booming. There were 36 runners last fall. There are 180 this spring.

As she did at the Boston finish, Rohde can't offer enough thanks -- to her husband for his training-period support and "taking on the lion's share of family duties"; to those who volunteer and who donated to her GOTR effort; and to early program supporters such as Maine Running Company owner John Rogers and MRC General Manager Maggie Poisson, who's now on the GOTR board.

"Grateful" is a word Rohde uses often even as she reflects on Monday's atrocity.

"To me, perhaps what's most horrific is that Boston is an occasion when the best of humanity comes together. People who aren't runners, but they come out year after year, giving their time to cheer and to support. It's a gift to be in that environment, and as someone commented on Facebook, running is the only sport that people only cheer, not boo.

"It sounds strange but I'm grateful to have been in Boston. I feel the strength of the community of runners, and I feel personally that much closer to it. I hope I'm fortunate enough to be there for Boston 2014 because it will be an amazing event."

John Rolfe of Portland is a road runner. He can be reached at 791-6429 or at:



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