Author and keen runner Haruki Murakami sent a “personal message” to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and said he felt personally wounded by the attack on his favorite race.
“So, even from far away, I can imagine how devastated and discouraged the people of Boston feel about the tragedy of this year’s race,” he wrote in an article in Friday’s online edition of the New Yorker magazine titled: “Boston, From One Citizen Of The World Who Calls Himself A Runner.”
“Something that should have been pure has been sullied, and I, too — as a citizen of the world, who calls himself a runner — have been wounded,” he wrote.
Murakami said he spent three years living on the outskirts of Boston — two years as a visiting scholar at Tufts University and another at Harvard. He has run the Boston Marathon six times.
“I’ve run marathons all over the world, but whenever someone asks me which is my favorite, I never hesitate to answer: the Boston Marathon,” he wrote in the article.
Murakami compared the process of recovering from the scars left by the attack with tackling the race’s Heartbreak Hill, a 6.5-km section near the end of the event.
“The real pain begins only after you’ve conquered Heartbreak Hill, run downhill, and arrived at the flat part of the course, in the city streets,” he wrote.
“Emotional scars may be similar. In a sense, the real pain begins only after some time has passed, after you’ve overcome the initial shock and things have begun to settle.
“Only once you’ve climbed the steep slope and emerged onto level ground do you begin to feel how much you’ve been hurting up till then. The bombing in Boston may very well have left this kind of long-term mental anguish behind,” Murakami wrote.
Ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a police shootout, and his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, are accused of carrying out the bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 264 at one of the world’s premier sporting events.
Murakami recalled the time he interviewed survivors and family members of those killed in the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway for his book “Underground.”
“Some of the pain goes away over time, but the passage of time also gives rise to new types of pain. You have to sort it all out, organize it, understand it, and accept it. You have to build a new life on top of the pain,” he wrote in the article.