A Year Ago – 4.15.13

15 Apr
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At this time last year, runners were heading to the starting line for the 117th running of the iconic Boston Marathon. It was a gorgeous New England spring day. Since I wasn’t working at the time, I had thought about heading up to watch at the finish line. But, laziness won out. Again. So I was content to stay home and track on the computer – occasionally turning on the news to get an update.

Boston is something that people put their heart and soul into — it’s a tough race to get in to and it’s a tough race to run (so I hear…I’m so far from Boston Qualifying I haven’t even ever looked at a course map!) It’s definitely a”Bucket List” race for most runners. I knew a few of my invisible internet friends would be running so I was probably more interested than usual.

At one point, in the afternoon, I was checking out the Twitters and Facebook when I started seeing the posts. “Oh my God! I can’t believe it” “I hope everyone is safe” “Bombs? At the finish line?” So I jumped on the remote and found a news channel and it was true. There had been two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The time on the race clock was 4:09:43.

The Four hour mark is when the majority of runners start to cross the line. On any other race day, there will be THOUSANDS of people finishing in the next hour or so. Of course the elites have probably already showered, eaten and had a good nap! The people crossing the line now are your friends and neighbors. Your co-workers. That guy you always see out running at 5 in the morning when you take the dog for a walk.

But thousands of people wouldn’t be crossing the finish line on 4.15.13. When the explosions went off, runners were stopped where they were. I am sure there were a few hours of confusion as runners and families tried to find each other. Eventually we learned that 3 people had died, all spectators, including a young boy who was waiting for his dad to cross the finish line. And we saw an awful lot of goodness in the horrible aftermath. Runners helping runners, runners helping first responders, spectators lending a hand, everyone doing what they could to save as many as they could.

It was a horrifying event that brought the running community even closer. A tight-knit group to begin with, it seems that tragedy brings us even closer. Runners don’t know from strangers — if you’re a runner, you’re family. And so, events were scheduled. T-shirts were printed. And people started running. Every mile to prove that we couldn’t be stopped.

Everyone was Boston Strong and out to prove that Love Always Wins.

The day will never be forgotten. And I’m sure as people line up at the starting line on Monday there’s going to be a lot of different emotions and feelings in the air.

But most of all, runners, I hope there’s excitement and a sense of setting out on an incredible journey — and I hope you take in every single mile and enjoy every single difficult step. And when you cross that finish line, raise your head and arms high and CELEBRATE!!!

plymouth edu blog

Plymouth.edu blogs

2 Responses to “A Year Ago – 4.15.13”

  1. Meranda@fairytalesandfitness April 15, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    My eyes are welling up and I am getting chills just reading this as I remember this day so vividly! I am so thankful my sister crossed right before the 4 hour mark. Something she wasn’t even planning on.

    • outrunningthefork April 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear she finished and finished early…I had a friend who was expecting a 4:04 finish and she cramped up earlier on the course and got stopped at Mile 25

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