Boston Magazine’s Cover Pays Tribute to Boston Marathon Victims

The cover of the May issue of Boston Magazine.

The cover of the May issue of Boston Magazine.

When I first saw Boston Magazine‘s May cover, I knew it would be a hit. It depicts running shoes formed in the shape of a heart. Inside the heart, in rather small text, it reads “We Will Finish the Race.” It’s brilliant.

Once I read Runner’s World‘s story about how the magazine’s staff shot the cover, I was even more impressed. They were a couple of days away from going to press when they took the shot. That’s enough to make any editor sweat. As someone who works on a magazine professionally, I know the fear that comes along with pushing a deadline to the last minute. If it doesn’t work, you’re stuck with something less than amazing.

A few days after the bombing, the magazine put out a call for folks who ran the race to bring in their shoes. From the looks of the cover, they got a large response. The magazine and its website will feature the stories of those who brought in their shoes. Many of them share their stories of horror and disappointment. It would have been traumatizing enough to be part of such an event but on top of it, many of these runners didn’t get a chance to finish the race. They want closure on the race. Just knowing that they didn’t get to finish the race is heartbreaking, especially because it wasn’t their decision to stop running. Like all runners, it will be almost impossible to line up for a race in the future without thinking about what happened in Boston.

Boston Magazine could have gone a lot of different ways with their cover. They could have run with a one of the gruesome photos we’ve already seen over and over again. They could have gone with a basic black cover with white text that would depict the darkness of that day. But instead, the cover is bright and expresses hope. It is defiant. And it is haunting. Bravo to all those involved, including the staff and runners who donated their shoes. This cover invokes all the feelings we have about that day.