Christine, Carla, and I arrived to Boylston Street, just south of the corner of Hereford around 11:30am. The iconic 'Left' on Boylston to head towards the finish line was an amazing place to watch. We saw the elites zoom past (literally) followed by many many others who were approaching mile 26. We screamed, we cheered, we had so much fun watching everyone! We were able to easily spot all of our friends and cheered for them as they were so close to being done!
Around 2:30, we were around the corner on Newbury having a late lunch. We were sitting at a table and I could actually still see Boylston. I looked over a couple of time before and continued to see a stream of runners go by. I smiled knowing they were all seconds away from crossing the finish line. As we waited for our food I was chatting with Christine, as my phone was nearby charging. We both felt and heard the explosion but in that moment neither of us mentioned it to the other. It was one of those things that we felt but didn't panic. About two minutes later I looked back towards Boyslton and just saw a crowd of people running towards us. In that instant my heart just started beating fast because I knew something was not right. I knew what I had felt a couple of minutes before had to have been something bad. I grabbed my phone and texted my sister to look online at the news and tell me what was going on. At that point she said nothing was online and that it was just news about the winners. I opened my twitter feed to see this:
Do not go near the finish line at the
#BostonMararthon -- 2 explosions in buildings pic.twitter.com/KTYtya3CSH
I was pretty much speechless. None of us knew what to do or think. I immediately started getting texts/tweets as many knew I had been near the finish line supporting my friends. In the minutes after I tried to piece together in my head who had finished around that time. I knew all of my friends had been done for 20-30 minutes so no one would have been in the direct vicinity. I didn't know the severity or how many people were impacted. All I knew was that I was in the middle of chaos. It is a day I will not soon forget. Eventually we made it back to Christine's cousins apartment and then back to South Station to head home to NYC yesterday afternoon.
All of my friends are safe, I am safe.
The events that unfolded yesterday are senseless tragedy. They make no sense. It's a reminder that hate and sin is very real in this world. It saddens me, that's for certain. But what does not sadden me is the resilience of runners. This community loves each other. This is a sport where it doesn't matter if you are a 2 hour marathoner, or a 6 hour marathoner, what matters is that we care and take care of one another. I am forever thankful and proud to be a part of this community.
On Saturday afternoon with our favorite Boston Marathoner, Celia, (to my left) at the finish line. I never would have imagined that a finish line that is so meaningful would be wrecked with severe and utter tragedy two days later.