While completing one of the great tests of the human body, marathoners in Boston a year ago Tuesday witnessed immense horror. But in addition to the terrorists' bomb blasts, there was also great hope and humanity on display that day as strangers came to the aid of wounded runners, volunteers and spectators after the two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. Many of those who ran last year will be at the starting line again on April 21. In fact, an estimated 36,000 runners will be there – 9,000 more than last year. The Globe talks to three runners who were there last April and are racing again this year.
Dan Way, Toronto
Amy McIntyre, Udora, Ont.
George Woodward, Andover, Mass.
was a quarter-mile from the finish, close enough to hear and feel the blasts and see the smoke. At first, I had no clue what was going on. One flash, perhaps some kind of special event. Then, after the second flash, we all went into fear-and-panic mode. Fear for our families, friends, city and fellow runners. Panic as in, “How do I find my friends and family. Are they okay? What do I do now?” It was then that I saw, first-hand, what a great city Boston is. Two people did a horrid thing, but then thousands of people did wonderful things for strangers.
I am not one of those runners raising money for wonderful causes. I am a bit selfish, as in I am running for myself. I love the competition. I not only run the marathon to finish, I race. I will struggle to keep my emotions in check as this race, and racing in general, has been taken to a new level. I almost cried seeing all the runners out last Sunday. I can only imagine how I will feel on race day. I think about the events of that day, and about all the people who were killed, injured and hurt, every time I run.