The marathon is a defining event in communities around the globe. For participants, that sense of community is even greater and extends to an international group of runners who often times compete in the same events year after year.
Even many of those who do not race in the 42.195km events regularly participate in supporting activities, including organizing races, handing out water during the events and cheering along the race routes.
An International Sense of Community
Sadly, this year, the sense of community was shattered by 2 bombs tearing through the crowd and participants of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Hundreds were injured and maimed and several killed by the heinous act of two brothers, one of whom faces prosecution. When those bombs went off, the Boston Marathon became more than a mere running event.
As subsequent tributes during other marathon events showed, the bombings strengthened the sense of community that extends around the globe among marathon runners.
2 young brothers converted pressure cookers into time bombs that killed 3 and injured or maimed 281 competitors and bystanders during the event. One of the bombers was killed during a subsequent shootout with local police while the other awaits trial.
Enjoy The Journey, Not The Destination
As these 20 photographs clearly illustrate, no marathon is the same. Each one has its own personality as well a unique challenge for those who compete in them. While not everyone can win a marathon, everyone who completes a course has won a personal challenge.