And a Happy Friday to all of you out there on the Web that is apparently, World Wide. While still waiting for the freaking temperature to get above 60 in late April here in New York City (hey Ma Nature, my winter coat is crying “uncle,” and my windbreaker is all like “what, I don’t matter anymore?”), a plethora of good news to choose from this week.
I want to start with this week’s Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious and challenging races in the marathon world. So of course each year only the top and most accomplished, well-known runners finish in the top 5, right?
Except this year, a woman few had ever heard of, a full-time nurse who is only 26 years old, somehow finished second.
In her second-ever marathon. That’s insane!
Sarah Sellers was so shocked at her amazing performance that after she finished, in a time of 2:44.05, she asked what place she came in. When told “second,” she asked, second in what division. No no, she was explained, second in the entire women’s race.
“She was in disbelief,” her husband said.
Sellers works in anesthesiology at Banner Health Center in Arizona, her husband, Blake Sellers, told the Boston Globe in an interview on Monday. She ran one previous marathon, in Utah, and won it. But never expected to do anything close to this in Boston. She wakes up at 4 a.m. to do training runs, then goes to her job.
Sellers won $75,000 for finishing second.
“Best case scenario going in, I thought I would maybe win enough money to cover the trip out here,” she said to the Boston Globe. “I had no anticipations of winning $75,000.”
So how does she plan to spend the money?
“I don’t even have any plans yet. I had no idea that was even a possibility,” she said. “My husband and I both just finished graduate school, so hopefully we’ll be able to put a dent in our student loans.”
What a great story.
**Next up, this is an oldie but goodie, but I thought of it this week when I heard the name “Bowie” on TV.
It’s a very sweet, short video of a boy and a girl, adorably having a kiss and a chat and speaks to so much of what innocence and pure joy feels like.
I love, love, love this video so much. Elliott’s face, at :53… that incredible sense of “Look how boss I am!” on his mug… so precious.
**And finally today, allow me to burst with pride about my former profession: Newspapers.
The Pulitzer Prizes were handed out this week, and as usual, the major newspapers cleaned up. The New York Times won for their Harvey Weinstein expose and many others in that vein, and deservedly so. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey did amazing work and changed the world of Hollywood with their stories. The Washington Post was a major winner, too, for its investigations into our current President and his many, many ties with Russia, as well as exposing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
But what always gets me, every year, about the Pulitzers is how local, smaller newspapers still do amazing work. I never worked full-time for the biggies, always plying my trade for newspapers with circulations under 200,000. But so many of them do such great work, with diminished resources. (That photo, above, won a Pulitzer for photography for Ryan Kelly of the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, taken during the alt-right protests last summer there.)
The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat in California won for its incredible wildfire coverage. The Cincinnati Enquirer did amazing work and won a Pulitzer for a series on the city’s awful heroin epidemic. And John Archibald, a columnist from Birmingham, Ala., writing beautiful, incisive columns about his state and the world.
Newspapers, we’re always told, are dying. Their staffs get cut, resources destroyed, and vision narrowed. So many of my former colleagues and friends have had to leave the business, and so many billionaires and corporations buy newspapers and slash and burn through them, then throw them away after the profits weren’t quite big enough.
But still, so many hard-working, good, honest reporters and editors do amazing work. Check out some of it here. I’m still, and will always be, so proud to identify as a journalist.