Post-Boston Thoughts

15 Apr

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now, and so many feelings.

I would normally start my marathon recaps with the everything that led up to the race. But this post will have to be different. This post, I need to start when we crossed the finish line.

Diana, Stacy and I crossed the finish line in 3:54. We held hands as we crossed, and hugged as soon as we were past. We were so happy to be DONE with this race. It was hard. Our legs were sore, and we weren’t feeling so hot.

We kept walking towards the water, med tent area, medals, and family meet up. We got our medals, and continued to head on to the family meet up.

When we arrived at family meet up we had been walking for about 5 minutes. We were beyond tired and all we wanted to do was lay down in the room. We took a minute to get some post race photos, and then things changed.

at most, 30 seconds before things changed.

at most, 30 seconds before things changed.

Boom.

We all heard it, we all felt it.

Boom.

Another one. My heart started beating rapidly. I knew those booms were not ok. I looked around me, everyone had a look of panic on their face. Seeing a huge group of people with a panicked look on their face was so scary. When I am scared, I like to look around and see calm. When I looked around today, I saw terror. We were scared.

Some people said, “oh it was nothing! just scaffolding falling!”. Another said, “well it is patriots day, it was the cannons!”

I knew it was neither. What we heard was bad.

Then the sirens rang, and we saw police officers running. We immediately started walking. We didn’t know where, but we were moving. I then checked twitter and saw my biggest fear. Two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My God, we were just there.

Before the bombs went off, my legs were on fire, I didn’t think I could go any longer. After the bombs went off I could’ve taken off in a sprint. Amazing what adrenaline will do for you.

We made it back to our hotel, which scared me. Our hotel was one block away from the explosions, but at least we would be inside. We got in, and within 15 minutes we were evacuated. We had nowhere to go, so we sat outside on a sidewalk across the street. Then they made us leave the sidewalk. We followed the masses and kept walking.

Nothing but emergency vehicles.

Nothing but emergency vehicles.

Finally we arrived in a little neighborhood nook. It was the cutest area and felt cozy. We found a spot on the ground and huddled together. There were so many runners wandering around, many that had not had the opportunity to change into warmer clothes. They looked like they were freezing.

Good samaritans in the neighborhood brought out blankets, coffee, orange juice and food. They offered their homes to anyone that needed to use the restroom. It was one of those moments when you say to yourself, “people are good.”

Doing good things.

Doing good things. He had such a happy heart and happy soul.

After over an hour of sitting on the street, we needed warmth. And a sweet woman named Marguerite saved us. She invited us into her home, fed us cheese and crackers and even gave us some beer. Another moment thinking, “people are good.”

Our spread at Margarets.

Our spread at Margarets.

After over an hour of invading Marguerite’s home, we decided to try to make the trek back to our hotel. We knew the lockdown was over, and had a route of streets we could take to get ourselves there.

We walked back and made it. We were so grateful to be back into our hotel with our possessions (and with a shower!!!). We settled into our rooms and just had some time to reflect. And I needed this time.

So many emotions.

So many emotions.

You look outside the windows here, and all you see are flashing lights and police. It is eery.

Around 9pm, we went to dinner in the hotel, as we were not able to leave. We sat at our table together, and decided we were going to put away our phones and talk about our race and our adventures that day. We had some fun stories to tell. However we were not able to focus on anything but the bombs. Every conversation went back to that.

So many people have said to me, “you should still be so proud, you ran Boston!”. But honestly, I could care less about that right now. I am not grateful for my medal right now, I am grateful for my safety and my families safety. That is what is important.

I keep thinking about the what ifs. What if we had not finished when we did? What if we were not with our families when the explosions went off? What if, what if, what if.

I thank everyone right now for their support. I am ok, but many are not. Please send that support to those who are still missing family members, were injured, or lost their lives.

xo,

Ali

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36 Responses to “Post-Boston Thoughts”

  1. Caroline Dimmitt April 15, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I went to be fairly early last night so your first post at around 5 am woke me up and I followed you all day until I had to start getting ready for work. When I got into my car at 3 PM that’s when I heard it and spit my Red Bull all over my steering wheel. It had only been a little while and this all happened! I have posted many times for you and your family but you are right. We owe it to the “Bostonian Maragrets” of the world that took in our frightened travelers/runners that were in a different city and had no where to go. Also to those still lost…

    • Memolo November 23, 2013 at 5:05 am #

      Hi Anette! :-)I finished work about 90 mins ago and I’ve got a hhadacee :-)Nice photos! :-) I’m presumning you must be tired in the photo where you are saying good night:-) Taking that into account it’s amazing how fresh, and also beautiful, you look in that one. Nice hair style too! :-) That one is a very nice photo of you Anette! :-)Helsingborg looks like a nice place too! :-) Looks like quite a small place as well :-) I’ve never been so perhaps it’s bigger than it seems :-)Enjoy the rest of your Sunday Anette! :-)

  2. www.hummingbirdssong.com April 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    I’m an Australian, and it devastated me to wake up and hear of the Boston Marathon bombings. So glad you are OK. xx

  3. mary @ minutes per mile April 16, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    So glad you’re ok! And good job on the race. This is truly tragic.

  4. Crystal April 16, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    This kind of thing is never supposed to happen. Ever. Especially at Boston. So glad you guys crossed the finish line when you did. It’s a senseless act, one led by a coward. I pray for the victims and the families and pray that this doesn’t change the world of running that we all love so. These people do this sort of thing to change the way we live our lives. To change the way we do business. I pray we don’t let that happen and that the races continue in spite of Cowards!

    • Stevan November 23, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      With havin so much written coenntt do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique coenntt I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help reduce coenntt from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

  5. Muhammad Madni Manzoor April 16, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    i am here though bbc world! it is sad to know about this sad tragic event. We hope that whoever was behind and responsible for attacks will be known soon.

  6. Caroline April 16, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    It made me cry to read about the goodness of people among such confusion and tragedy, and I’m so glad that you are safe. There’s definitely layers of this to process, and that will come with time. Congrats on finishing Boston as well.

  7. Amy April 16, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    I was desperately trying to find your twitter yesterday in between losing service every few seconds. I’m so glad you are ok and that you had so many people help you. Yesterday morning I was so mad that our hotel was so far away in Cambridge, but I have never been more happy to get out of a city. The “what-ifs” have really been playing in our heads too, but I am so grateful that everyone I know is safe.

  8. fullrunner April 16, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    What a scary experience – I’m glad you’re ok.
    Thank you for the reminders of the goodwill of people amidst this tragedy.

  9. Jen April 16, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Relieved you are ok but I’m so sorry you had to go through this, Ali. Thoughts and prayers with you and Boston.

  10. Emily April 16, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Glad to hear you’re OK but I am so so sorry this happened. I am so glad to know there are still good people out there.

  11. joe h April 16, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    so glad you are safe!

    • Jolena April 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      So glad you are safe. Our thoughts are with all the runners and families and people of Boston during this tragedy. Thank you for sharing stories of the open hearts of the people of Boston. I keep hearing the Mr Roger’s quote over and over from various outlets. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

  12. Nina April 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    It’s good to hear that you are ok! Your post makes clear that no matter how much evil there is, the good people will always dominate. I still don’t belive what happend. I went through some articles this morning and found that you were quoted in one of Germany’s leading magazines http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/bosten-marathon-massive-polizeipraesenz-an-der-ostkueste-a-894614.html

  13. Anonymous April 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Ali,

    My sister Marguerite was the one to offer you and your fellow runners a place to feel safe. Thank God you are all okay. What a horrible day. My thoughts go out to you, but lucky you found Marguerite!

    Nicole Marcinkiewicz
    Natick MA

    • mileswithstyle (@AliHatfield) April 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

      Your sister found us. She was amazing. I wish I could go back and thank her. Please let her know how grateful we are for her.

  14. Anonymous April 16, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I have found your photo on CNN website and followed you here. I’m glad that you are ok. Thank you Marguerite and everyone who make the world a better place.

  15. Liz Moreland April 17, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Thank God you are safe, and thank you for sharing. My husband, Ron Moreland has worked on your folks’ home in Richland, and we were worried about and praying for all of you. We saw you on the South Bend, IN news last night in the care of the nice woman who invited you into her home. Our prayers were answered in your safety!

  16. Anonymous April 17, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Your picture was on the today show this morning. The one with the mn pouring oj.

  17. Caitlyn Connolly April 17, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Ali – So glad you’re safe. Once I saw what happened I thought I you since you were one on IG that I knew was racing. And I found this article this morning, thought you’d like to see it :) http://mashable.com/2013/04/16/boston-marathon-acts-of-kindness/

    • Iferikigwe November 23, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      Please let me know if you’re looking for a auhtor for your weblog. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Cheers!

  18. Whitney April 17, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I thought about you and all the other runners I knew in Boston all day on Monday- so relieved that everyone made it home safely.

  19. Heidi Coates April 17, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Glad to know you 3 are good. I am from Kansas City and I had a similar experience. My time was 4:05 and I was just through the chute when I heard the bombs. The Boston locals were so helpful. We asked directions from a young couple who walked with us for miles. They were walking home and we were on a journey to find public transportation to Framingham. We stopped at an MIT fraternity to use the bathroom and the boys gave me 3 bottles of water and a burger. HUGE! Jill and Evan, the local couple, took us to the Riverside Station where we had a car. Complete strangers loaded us up and took us 15 miles!!! I was so impressed with the way everyone responded. The next day we went sight seeing and had a beautiful day. I also met with the Boston police because I ran with my camera. I took 70 pictures and a lot of video along the route. I ran the finish line stretch with my video rolling. That was about 10 min. before the blasts. That video, the police said, is especially helpful. I hope they find this jerk!

    • mileswithstyle (@AliHatfield) April 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Oh Heidi,
      Thank you for sharing that story. I am really finding comfort in talking with other people who experienced this event. I cannot even imagine being right there when it happened. I hope you are able to heal and are doing ok. I also hope that video helps the police. I want them to find these horrible people so much!!!! Thank goodness for those frat boys :)
      xoxoxo, Ali

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  21. Tabitha June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am #

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  23. Sabahattin November 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Tim-read your blog as part of a blogging cuosre I am taking. Caught your post about the marathon! I ran this race in 1985 and it was one of my favorites. It is absoultely the most beautiful cuosre, as advertised. Best of luck on the last 10 mental miles you will do great! Your miles are behind you only have to run and enjoy.

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