We watched the movie “Patriot’s Day” last night and I have to say, reliving our experience of the Boston Bombing was uncomfortable. I guess there is a lot that Jamie and I blocked out, yet we have always known that we cut it close and are very fortunate to be spared from injury. It was crazy seeing in the movie, the spot where he sat waiting for me (by the first backpack/bomb at the finish line), how close I was to the blasts, after having just finished, and how he missed the second bomb when he went to use the restroom at Starbucks after I finished. They used some live footage from that day in the movie too. Hearing the sound of the blasts again was all too familiar and disturbing. I still think often of those victims whose lives changed forever that day in such a traumatic way. I wonder if our country will ever see an end to terror? I wonder if we will ever truly be safe doing the things that we love? I don’t think so and that is sad and terrifying.
Had this been one of my slower marathons, our story may not have had the ending that it did. I’m not trying to be dramatic; it is what it is. I was so happy in these pictures. I had spotted Jamie and was so relieved to be finishing. I was in so much pain from a hamstring injury 2 days before the race and had slowed down a bit during the second half. Had I not gotten injured, I would’ve been done and out of that area a good 10-20 minutes sooner!
These are some of the photos that Jamie snapped at the finish line of the wheelchair and elite winners and then finally, me. He sat there from 6:30 (to make sure he had a close finish line spot) till I finished around 2:33. Many of these photos are quite similar to the footage in the film, which is even more eerie. It still seems surreal that I can say that we have witnessed a true, live, terrorist attack.
I learned so much from this experience; mostly, that you can’t live in fear and that you should always be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are, what you are doing and despite how “safe” you think you feel. I learned that Boston is one amazingly strong and protective city who will not tolerate violence and will come back stronger than ever. Many people said that I was crazy for going back in 2014 and running that race again. “What if it happens again”? I said that it had to be done and that it would be safer than ever this time. Fear will not win and we should never let it. I wanted to experience the celebration of not just running this well-earned race a second time, but of the strength, unity and resilience of what is the human race!