Amateur photographers are gearing up for their own day of hard work this Marathon Monday, with ambitious plans to flood Google’s image search results with positive photos of the long-time Boston tradition.
Right now, that query retrieves mostly gruesome shots from the chaotic violence of the 2013 bombings, but Reddit user ‘Turnipbecky’ hopes to change that.
The frequent Marathon spectator authored this post on the Reddit’s r/Boston page, writing she had no interest in “forgetting about” the attack but hoped to publicize the community spirit the race fosters:
"I work in Natick and it's always been a thing to grab some early lunch and walk down to the marathon course to see the elite runners, watch the crazy fast wheelchair racers, and cheer on your friends and coworkers. I've always known someone who was running. The Boston Marathon is so much more to me than the bombing last year. It kills me that it feels so defined by that now. ... It's not bombs and smoke and blood on the sidewalks. It's tens of thousands of people coming together to run way farther than any normal person should be able to. It's hundreds of thousands of people coming together to cheer and scream and propel those runners along. And it's one of the coolest, greatest, most inspiring and fun events on the planet. What do you think, Boston?"
The post got over 400 upvotes and 50 comments, with many readers pledging to proactively take pictures and upload them to social media.
The redditor behind the idea, who asked not to be named, told Boston.com she was “really glad” the post got so much attention. The Nebraska native said she’s been attending the race since 2006.
“It makes me think that we probably don’t need any kind of project or effort or initiative,” she wrote. “If the seed is planted, people will just do it and share their pictures and stories.”
“I don’t want to replace the images and memories of the bombings, or pretend they never happened,” she added. “They happened, people were hurt and killed, and no one here will ever forget that. But the Marathon is just so much more than that one act of terror, and we need to remember that too.”