Fighting terrorists by lacing up running shoes

On April 15, the world stopped for a moment. At the finish line of the world renown Boston Marathon, two terrorists placed crude bombs packed with shrapnel. The bombs were designed to kill or maim those who happened to be immediately next to them. That in itself isn’t that effective. But then again, simply killing three people wasn’t the goal.

No, the ultimate prize was to destroy the culture they hated by spreading fear. To destroy a free society and have public events wither away to just a fraction of what they once were.  Surely that world would cause the evil doers to grin through rotten teeth.Pittsburgh Marathon

But – knowing that’s the goal, maybe there’s a much more effective way to combat the terrorists. One that could make them throw chairs in frustration.

Our new strategy should be simply this: we don’t change. In fact, we take the opposite approach.

If they attack a cruise ship, we should all call our travel agent to get on the next ship. If they knock down buildings in NYC, we build a larger, more beautiful structure than before. Or if they blow up a pressure cooker bomb at the Boston Marathon, us couch potatoes should start walking, jogging or running to show that we won’t be intimidated.

And that’s what’s happening. In Rochester, the short 3.5 mile run now has a planned record attendance of over 12,000 for the event on May 21. The 2013 Kalamazoo Marathon just today had their biggest participation ever along with the Pittsburgh Marathon attracting their largest ever field of 30,000 participants.

Amateurs are walking and running races, many to join in the defiance of the terrorists. We don’t need laws for police to frisk pedestrians or agencies reading our E-Mails.  We are hundreds of thousands of Americans this month lacing up running shoes and walking up to a starting line.

And that strategy just might work.

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