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Carry on

Published April 16, 2013 5:10 pm

Marathon world moves to SLC
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A common piece of good advice in the wake of tragedies such as Monday's attack on the Boston Marathon, borrowed from the stiff-upper-lip blokes who survived the Battle of Britain, is to "Keep calm and carry on."

And it just so happens that, in the world of marathon running, the place everyone is about to carry on to is Salt Lake City.

The 10th Anniversary Salt Lake City Marathon is set for Saturday. Thus to this community falls the honor, and the responsibility, of showing the world, and especially whoever was responsible for the terrorism that marred the Boston Marathon, that we will not be deterred from living our lives as we had planned.

The whole point of most acts of terror is to push people into behaving in ways we ordinarily never would. Hiding. Cowering. Watching one another with suspicion and dread. Subscribing to weird conspiracy theories or jumping to conclusions about what nation, group, ethnicity or mythical boogeyman is to blame.

If Salt Lakers live up to their potential Saturday, we'll have none of that here.

Such an event is already the beneficiary of much planning, including, as we saw in Boston, a large police presence and a significant deployment of ambulances and other field medical facilities.

Monday, when most of America was still reeling from the shock of the news from Boston, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank was already in front of the microphones, assuring the community, and all those visitors we are about to welcome, that we will be ready.

"We don't let a lot of folks take that day off," the chief said.

That should also be true of people who aren't police officers, and aren't organizers of, or participants in, the Salt Lake Marathon. For that day, it will be up to the entire community to help the national healing process by doing two things: Be mindful, and have fun.

This is, after all, the community that pulled off the successful, and safe, 2002 Winter Olympics in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks of 9/11. We helped the world figure out that security need not be so smothering that sporting and other public events can't go on as scheduled.

There are two really bad things that can happen after a terrorist attack: We can let down our guard and allow another attack. Or we can put ourselves on such a high level of paranoid alert that we ruin our own lives, no attack necessary.

In Salt Lake City this weekend, we will do neither.




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