I love Boston and the marathon. I attended school at Boston College and spent many Patriot’s Days cheering as a spectator at the top of Heartbreak Hill.
April 15, 2013, was my third time running the storied race.
It was a beautiful day for running; a little overcast with cool temperatures. Marathon Monday is always a great time, filled with nervous anticipation, making new friends from around the world, sharing stories and running experiences. It is the culmination of many long miles in the New England cold.
The spectators are the finest, applauding the runners’ efforts all the way from Hopkinton to Boston. I could never have imagined the turn the day would take.
I finished the race in 3:47, and the time at the clock read 3:53 p.m., 16 minutes before the first bomb went off. I waved to my husband Paul andtwo of my boys as I ran past them down Boylston Street. Once past the finish, I walked another block or two getting water, snacks, a blanket, finisher medal and my belongings that were bussed back from the start.
Then, I backtracked to the designated family meeting area. All of this took 20 minutes or so. I met up with my family and headed to grab a cab. My son, Luke, would later comment that he heard a loud bang, but dismissed it as thunder. What else could it be?
I did comment on all the sirens, however it being a city that is not uncommon, but there were A LOT.
It was not until we were back at the hotel in our room did we discover what had happened. People were told not to leave their homes or hotels. The police presence was unprecedented. We left Boston on Tuesday where there were National Guardsmen with rifles on nearly every corner. It was all very unnerving. We were blessed to have not been harmed, and returned home safely.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families.
I am just so very sad that such a long-standing joyous celebration has been tarnished by such evil, but as President Obama so aptly stated:
“Next year on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city, to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for the118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it.”
I plan to be there.