Monday was Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, but the celebration became a tragedy when two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 100 injured, some critically. The iconic race, which annually draws about 25,000 runners, became the setting for a despicable act of terror.
When the twin explosions occurred it was four hours into the race. The elite runners, including our own Tatyana McFadden, who won the wheelchair event, had crossed the finish line several hours before and were out of harm's way. There were still thousands of runners on the course, however.
"Certainly, this could happen at any race," said Columbia's Dave Tripp, a long-time member of the Howard County Striders.
Dave grew up in Massachusetts and said that Patriots' Day, the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox game are a really big deal.
Dave has run many marathons, including "a bunch" of Boston Marathons.
"Boston is so different," he said. "No race takes over a city like the marathon takes over Boston. There are people at the top of Heartbreak Hill who go there every year for generations to scream encouragement at the runners and pass out water."
Dave is a realist.
"You can't stop that type of attack. It is the worst possible way to protest anything," he said. "And Boston is probably the most symbolic and hurtful (city) to do it to."
Clyde's 10k going strong
I challenge anyone to find a longer single sponsorship of a sports event than the 35-year relationship that exists between Clyde's Restaurant and the American 10K race held this past Sunday.
There was a time that I thought the relationship might indeed end. That was in 2007 following a torrential downpour when Clyde's sister restaurant, The Tomato Palace, opened its doors so that the awards could be presented. I was there and shook my head at the mess we left behind.
"It took us a day and a half to get things cleaned up," said Paul Kraft, the general manager of both restaurants.
But there were no complaints made to the Striders following the cleanup, and the relationship between Clyde's and the Striders remained as strong as ever. That, in itself, says a great deal about Kraft and his staff.
"This is a great event for us and we love being part of it," said Kraft. "It's part of who we are and what we are all about. We also get a chance to interact with some of our customers."
Columbia's Kyle Stanton, a 2009 graduate of Hammond High School, sprinted to the lead at the start of this year's race and was never seriously threatened, winning the race in 31:27. Stanton, who will graduate from Villanova University this year with a degree in accounting, won the race last year as well.
Baseball for a good cause
There's nothing like a good baseball game on a nice spring evening. It's even better when the game is also for a good cause.
Reservoir and Glenelg, two of Howard County's best teams, will play under the lights at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover next Monday, April 22. The varsity teams play in the main event at 7 p.m.
The event will be called Strike Out Breast Cancer and will benefit the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard General Hospital.
So come on out to enjoy the ball game and do something good for the community while you're at it.
-Carol Gralia contributed to this column.