A community project hosted at Northeastern University

Race day started with promise and...


This story was collected by the Boston Globe in the days immediately following the Boston Marathon Bombing. GlobeLab collected these anonymous stories on the Boston.com website and donated them to the Our Marathon Archive. We are grateful for this contribution, which gives insight into how Bostonians and visitors to the city understood the bombing events in their immediate aftermath.


Race day started with promise and enthusiasm with the cooler temperatures. The starting line was abuzz about PRs and personal Boston bests. Evidenced by the too many to count runners who scanned their wristwatches as they ran the last five miles. I crossed the finish line at 2:45 pm with a face smiling and a 3:57:33 time. Taking a picture with my wife next to the medical tent is a tradition unlike few others in my family. Joy, love, sweat and “BANG”. Only five minutes after finish the heaven turned to hell. Maybe a canon I thought...but I know I would have seen one next to the finish line and thought it odd. No, this was bad. The second “BOOM” confirmed bad had gone to worse.

In only a few minutes we saw the parade of wheelchairs driven by the first responders in a flurry to the medical tent. The crowd in the finish chute was frozen caused by finish fatigue and eye popping amazement of the billowing smoke. We saw what we would not want others to see. The stuff we would hide from our children’s eyes in a bad movie. Ground Zero had come to Boston. Our home. Our race.

Impressed I was with the calmness of the BAA volunteers, police and runners. Instructions were clear, “Please keep moving away from the finish line, please”. Can you believe I heard “Please”? The police calmly stated another bomb may be located nearby, so “PLEASE keep moving”. So much concern for our safety. Compliance was easy. After finding our way into our hotel nearby, I was stunned to learn only 20 minutes had elapsed on my watch. A lifetime of tragedy lasting only 20 minutes. Odd how time slows down so much.

A medal earned? A finish time treasured? No. Just sadness.


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