Last year at this time I was on a plane heading back from the Boston Marathon. This year, I’m trying to come to grips with a tragedy that feels both deeply personal and remote at the same time. As a runner, I feel as if someone attacked my friends. As a person, I feel sick.
After any race, the first thing you want to do is connect with your loved ones and share stories of your journey. I can’t imagine the confusion and horror that the thousands of separated loved ones must have felt. Never mind those killed or wounded by the blasts.
I’m pretty sure all my friends who ran the race are fine. And so I don’t have any direct connection to the tragedy.
But, as a long-time runner, a marathoner, and a recent Boston marathon finisher, I’ll be damned if this one didn’t feel a little personal.
On a separate but related topic, I followed my twitter feed closer than usual yesterday. My twitter feed comprises mainly runners and startup-related folks, and the majority who commented did so about the tragedy in Boston. But a few ignored the news and posted random promotional materials in the hours following the attacks. This struck me as incredibly poor timing and taste. Of course, there’s always bad news, but it behooves marketers to know that the hours after a terrorist attack is not the time to self-promote. If you have tweets set to go on an automated timer, have a way to reschedule those posts when something with real gravitas hits the newswire. Otherwise, you look like an insensitive asshole.