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.
We all heard it, we all felt it.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.