Remembering Boston

boston title copy


We often define ourselves by where we were during monumental, often catastrophic, events. People ask, “Where were you during 9/11?” “Where were you during Hurricane Katrina?” It’s a way for us to bond and share our mutual experiences, our grief, our pain surrounding these events that impacted so many of our lives. And, I think it’s a way for us to heal.

Today marks one year since the horrific Boston bombing. I remember explicitly where I was during that event. I had just come off training and running the Little Rock Marathon in March. I was in a running funk, as I always get after a marathon race. My heart hadn’t really been in my runs and they were few and far between. My mom was in town visiting over the weekend and she had decided to stay a little longer. I had taken the day off and we were having a great day playing with my son and starting a few new sewing projects. It was the early afternoon and Mom sat down at the bar to check her phone and briefly check the news. I’ll never forget her words,

“There’s been a bomb at the Boston Marathon!?”

I was in shock. I couldn’t process it. What? Surely this was a hoax. Surely this was just a small gas main or a car backfiring or something…surely. I ran into the living room and turned the television on and saw the horrifying events emerge before me. I checked my twitter feed and it was full of news, updates, shock and awe on what had just happened. At that point, we really didn’t even know. WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED?

Even though I really didn’t know anyone running personally, I knew people who had run it in the past. I knew people who knew people that were running it. I knew runners on my twitter feed who were running it. Our running family had been attacked. Targeted. Hurt. I could not hold back the tears and emotions watching the chaos and pain unfold. (Even writing this I’m having a difficult time).

As the awfulness played out over the next few days, something else surfaced: unbreakable runner solidarity. People began running and posting their runs for Boston. I saw love and support being displayed from all over the world. People were organizing 5k races to raise money for the victims. Group runs were being organized where they were taking donations. T-shirts were being printed and sold to benefit One Fund Boston.

I had to do something. I had to get out of my funk. I had to RUN. The above picture is of me and my son a few days after. We ran 2.62 miles virtually with Moms Run This Town. It was such an emotional run but I ran for the runners, the families, the friends, the spectators and for me.

This year I plan to join a group run with our local running store Varsity Sports on Monday morning to remember, to share, to heal. And then I plan to cheer on the amazing runners who have trained so hard to run Boston 2014. I encourage you to find a group, run with a friend or even run solo. Run. Remember. Heal.


The runner spirit cannot be broken.

12 thoughts on “Remembering Boston

  1. Great post, Jen. I’m planning on doing the same come Monday. Can’t wait to get a morning run in with Varsity NOLA and then sit in front of the computer to watch turn-by-turn coverage of the race.

  2. I was at work and someone said, “Isn’t that terrible about Boston?” Found some streaming news and started telling all the runners I knew. I’m with a group of volunteers that manage aspects of the Chicago Marathon, Packet Pick Up at the Expo and the Finishline Refresh areas. We all tried to imagine what that would have looked like at Chicago and what changes were in store for us. Some very good documentaries on the survivors are out there.

    • Oh wow Phil! Thanks for sharing your story. I didn’t know you were involved with the Chicago marathon. Very cool! It’s on my bucket list to do one day. I will definitely be back for the half in 2016.

  3. Great post Jen! I was subbing that afternoon in a kindergarten class. I had watched the elites run the race online that morning and then left to go work. When my day was over my phone was blowing up with the news. I had a good friend whose husband was running and I texted her quickly and she said he finished before the bombs and they had already left the finish area when it happened. I was so thankful they were safe. It was such an emotional day for all runners…regardless if you were there or not. All I knew to do was run. And that’s what I did.

  4. Love.

    So true. The stories still bring an unbelievable emotion. Running brings people together and changes lives. It makes me proud to be a runner.

  5. I ran on Tuesday and was replaying my day on 4/15 last year. I spent the day crying for people who I didn’t even know that were hurt in the bombing. It was horrific to watch it all unfold. I’ll never forget.

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