This is where I would normally tell you what my finishing time was, bragging that it was better than expected or giving excuses why it wasn’t as good as I wanted. Instead, I tell you I didn’t finish. But it doesn’t matter. I am just grateful my husband and I were unharmed, yet, at the same time I am so sad for those who are were not so lucky.
This is where I wanted to post a picture of me wrapped in my mylar blanket, holding my medal, looking completely worn down but with a huge smile on my face. Instead, I post pictures of the front page of the Boston Globe with the headline “Marathon Terror” and pictures of unclaimed race bags of the thousands of runners, including myself, who could not finish.
This is where I was planning to be able to look back and remember the feeling of crossing the finish line, the sense of accomplishment and exhilaration. Instead, I remember the loud blasts and clouds of smoke, the screams of people around me, the feeling of utter fear and running for my life when I had nothing left in me.
This was not the story I imagined I would be telling. However, it is my story of the 117th Boston Marathon and I am so thankful to be here to tell it. I know there are others who were there at the finish line who can’t tell their story because they are no longer with us. And there are far too many who have stories of much deeper heartache – stories about the death of a friend or loved one, about never being able to walk again or the carnage they saw. My heart goes out to them.
There will be a 118th Boston Marathon. I know there will be because runners are strong and we finish what we start. I can imagine the stories told there will be of remembrance of those who were killed, stories of recovery of those who were injured, stories of the heroic that saved lives, stories of overcoming fear to run another year and stories of the resilient city of Boston. And most importantly, the story of justice that was brought to the people who did this.