Thursday, April 23, 2015

After the Marathon

Those of us who live or work around Boston’s Back Bay could never forget the tragedies that took place around the Boston Marathon two years ago. The amazing spirit of our beautiful city however has made this event more illustrious than ever. Thousands of enthusiastic spectators lined the 26.2 course despite the inclement weather this year. My husband and I didn’t attend in person, but watched on live TV at a local brew pub. Normally I like to watch it at home, where I can be emotional in private, but somehow I was able to hold it together.

One of the heartwarming stories I heard on Tuesday was about a runner who had to drop out at mile five, and a kind policeman gave her his jacket without hesitation. Like an angel, he soon disappeared, but thanks to social media, he was later found. And another story was about a gentleman with Muscular Dystrophy who walked the entire route, and finished at 5AM to chanting admirers. 

I always see lots of runners in their official jackets for several days after the race. The restaurants are packed at lunchtime, and I notice them greet each other outside the bar next to my office, which always has the front open during nice weather. Thankfully Monday’s conditions didn’t last, and flowers are blooming everywhere, telling us that spring is truly here.

I’ve attended the marathon in person just three times, when my father ran in it. He’s an extremely motivated guy who started running when he was about 50. I remember that year,1996, and it being the hundredth anniversary. My mother and siblings and I had a long, chilly wait on the Boston Common. Later on we waited at the finish line, cheering him as he crossed. The poor guy looked like he was about to drop. I can’t even imagine accomplishing what he did, and then he went on to do it two more times. I am so proud of him.

Getting back to two years ago, I’m in awe of those brave souls who jumped in to help victims, especially employees at the Marathon Sports store, where the first bomb went off. My husband and I were in complete shock when we saw it happen on TV. It’s impossible to not think of what happened whenever I walk down that area of Boylston street. One of the victims, Krystle Campbell was a friend of dear friends, whom we met once over beers at Bukowski’s. The sudden, violent loss of of someone you love must be the worst thing a person could possibly endure. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all those affected, including the family of MIT Officer Sean Collier.

I’m certain that in the years to come, the memorials will continue, and so will the “Boston Strong” spirit. My father won’t be running in future marathons, but he will stay active, and continue to inspire me, as does this wonderful city.

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