6 Years On
6 years on
In a way yesterday, it felt like I got -- and perhaps collectively we -- got closer to true healing. Six years to the day after the bombs went off at the finish line ( I was there covering it for Boston.com ), I stood stronger, taller, buoyed by family, friends, and teammates.
Six years ago I chatted with JT and his father before the 5k and tracked JT down after the marathon, hoping he wasn’t injured and that he finished the race. I asked him to come back to Boston, to give this city and this race another shot. This year was his 7th Boston. He ran a HUGE pr, finishing in 2:51. I was there to cheer him as he approached the top of Heartbreak Hill, and I gave him all of my energy to hopefully help power him up the hill.
This year, two of my runners were greeted at the finish line by a member of Back on My Feet Boston whom they had trained with all season long, supporting him to his first marathon this weekend. He paid them back by becoming a finish line volunteer so he could see them cross the line and give them their finishing high fives and hugs.
This year, my husband and I stood with our friends and completely blew out our voices cheering for our friends -- unable this year to run beside them, and knowing that the best we could do would be to stand there until the last of our friends powered up the hill -- long after the rest of the crowd had left because the marathon is hard and lonely at points if you don’t have people cheering you on.
I gave myself permission to head into the bathroom of Heartbreak Hill Running Company at 2:50 pm and just splash my face with cold water and remind myself that the clip that often plays on rewind in my head from 6 years ago was NOT happening today. I hugged my teammate Adrianne earlier in the day and when I told her I had moments that morning that were really tough, she squeezed my hand and reminded me “You are not alone in that feeling.”
My teammates threw up the Heartbreakers Heart sign all day long as they ran by, and every time they did it became less about just seeing a teammate flash a sign that we understood, to a sign that truly represented what this sport and community is all about.
Our hearts healed a bit more this year. And my love affair with the Boston Marathon continues.
I’ve run it twice myself so far. Don’t count me out yet.
Here’s to healing.
Here’s to the ache and triumph of our sport.
Here’s to coming full circle.
Cheers to us.
To see the whole album click the link Mile 18 and 20 Boston Marathon