First off, I’m ok. Last year, I watched the Boston Marathon from the grandstands. This year, I decided to go to the New Balance viewing party. I couldn’t decide when I was going to go but opted to watch the elite from home and the “regulars” in person. Finally, around 1:30 I left my house and was ready to go watch the runners. I ran over in my running clothes but was obviously halted to a walk by the crowds as I turned onto Boylston Street. I stopped to take this picture to show you guys how cramped it is.

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Every year I cry when I see people cross the finish line in victory. Even from my apartment, I get emotional watching it on the TV. The marathon is an emotional race here in Boston for not just the runners but the spectators as well. Children line the streets with signs cheering on their parents with love or just cheering on strangers in admiration.

For the past 4 years, I’ve lived within a 1/2 mile of the finish line. I’ve gone to watch there as well the past 4 years. The crowds were not unexpected, I just think the novelty of living so close has begun to wear off.

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Thirty minutes after I took this picture an explosion went off just 100 yards down to the right across the street. Instead of going into the New Balance party, I decided to go running real quick beforehand hoping the crowds would die down by the time I got back. I heard the booms go off while running around the Charles river. I thought to myself that they sounded odd. I had my headphones in and they were clearly audible. I thought for a minute how sad it would be if someone where to commit a crime like a shooting at the finish line but just figured it was my crazy imagination. Then, there was an influx in ambulances, police cruisers, and just sirens everywhere on Storrow Drive. As I crossed Beacon Street towards the South End, I saw people sprinting towards me, the opposite direction from the finish line and people crying.

I then received an alert on my phone that there were two explosions on the marathon course. Police were clearing out the finish line area and the entire Back Bay neighborhood. As I walked home with the crowds, I saw many people crying and heard relentless sirens. I felt terrible for family members looking for their runners who did not have their cell phones on them and their planned meeting area was not evacuated. I also felt bad for the 7,000+ runners who were not able to finish. A few high school friends I saw on Facebook were pulled off around mile 24.

Thank you to everyone who asked on Twitter and Facebook if I was OK. I really feel loved with all the outreach from friends, family and you guys, my beloved audience and the reason why I am able to do what I love for a living. This is incredibly sad and I’m staying put in my apartment. Many people as you might know now lost limbs and 3 children in fact were injured. I’m thankful that I no longer live in Back Bay as most of it is shut down, evacuated and has no cell service making it difficult for family members to locate their loved ones who were pulled off the course. Please pray for the victims and those who have lost a loved one on this tragic day.

Today on my run, I reflected on my desire to NOT run a marathon but now, I’ve decided that next year, I will run the Boston Marathon.

I’m OK

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  • Julia Badescu

    OMG. How horrible! Happy to hear you’re okay, and your decision to run the marathon next year is inspirational.

  • Mandy

    Sarah you are an inspiration! I’m glad that you are ok and that you posted this response so quickly, I think all of your readers were thinking of you today!

  • marlene

    glad to hear your ok ,its a shame peolpe think that they have the right to take peoples lives ,karma will certainly come back to them

  • Roni

    Thank you Sarah for letting us all know you’re okay. I think all of us have a heavy heart and prayers will surely be going out.

  • Annabel

    Very touching. I could feel as if I was living your experience with your description.
    I’ve been following your blog/youtube for a while now, you are very motivating.

    I went to college in Boston, graduated and moved back to the Dominican Republic in 2009. I lived on Marlborough Street and used to run along the Charles. I am heartbroken. I love Boston as my second home and never ever thought something like this would happen there.

    Keep up your energetic spirit. I’ll keep following you from the Dominican Republic.

  • Maria

    Thanks for posting your recap of today. I was sickened and heart broken when I heard the tragic news. My biggest accomplishment to date was qualifying for Boston this past December at the CIM. I couldn’t register to race this year b/c it was already sold out, but I have already planned and still plan to run next year and now even more motivated to perform my best in honor of Boston and the runner and spectators affected by today’s events. I was definitely thinking of you today and relieved that you were safe!!

  • Emily

    My heart is filled with so many emotions regarding this tradgedy, I’m so thankful that you and my family in the area are all okay, but my heart breaks for everyone who is not and everyone who was unable to finish the marathon. Thank you for sharing your experience and I am sure Boston will stand together.

  • Chris

    I too live in Boston in the Fenway area. I’ve been absorbing all of the news from my apartment today as well. I hadn’t reacted emotionally until I just read the last line of this blog post…I started to tear up. A true Bostonian’s reaction-keep running.

  • AShlin

    That’s great to hear- both that you are safe and that you plan to run the marathon next year. What is your marathon time ? I would love to run it but since the marathon qualifying time is 3:35 and my time is 3:45, I’m upset I won’t be able to. What a great goal to set.

    • Sarah

      I will not be able to qualify but there are lots of charities that get bibs to raise money. It’s a $3500 donation minimum but I don’t see it being a problem especially when you are passionate about raising the money for a good cause.

  • Liz

    Sarah, I am a Boston local and a long time follower/reader of your blog. I have to say, you have been such an inspiration to me, constantly serving as a reminder to always give my best and to be healthy and happy because that’s what everyone deserves. This is absolutely one of the reasons I was running the Boston Marathon this year. As I passed mile 25 and saw a sign that said “less than one mile to go” I felt a wave of euphoria come over me. I had been really struggling the last couple of miles and I knew it would be over soon and that I would see my husband and best friend’s faces on Boylston Street, where they said they would be waiting for me. This all turned to pure terror and shock when I was stopped right under Mass Ave and told that the race was over because there had been multiple explosions on Boylston. It was only through the kindness of strangers that I was able to contact my husband and friends and find out that they were ok. I don’t know what I would have done without the help of others. Some of those people will truly never know what their acts of compassion meant in that moment. Thank you for writing this blog and sharing your story and your love of Boston. I will be right there with you and I’m sure the thousands of runners who WILL cross that finish line in 2014. These events will not keep people away in the future. It will only mean that much more next year, and maybe help to mend a little bit of the heartbreak that we are all feeling together right now.

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