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.
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.
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.