I mean, what can I say? I don’t know yet if I will ever do a race recap. Truthfully, anything before 2:50 pm is a blur. As much as I’m trying not to dwell, I can’t move past the fact that at least 3 people cheered me to the finish line and didn’t survive the hour.
I was about 45 minutes past the finish line and about 10 minutes reunited with Aaron when we heard and felt the explosions. It was Patriots Day, so it could have been a celebratory cannon, but the uneasiness of the crowd was thick. We did not see anything…we were a block away on the next street, but the crowd that had been so rowdy and joyful got very quiet, we all stood, and we all very calmly walked in the opposite direction. Moments later as sirens started sounding, we knew. The police officers getting out of cars with assault rifles was another clue that this wasn’t an accident. While I’m sure there was chaos closer to the blasts, I was surprised at how calm and collected if not completely disoriented everyone was. You don’t really have an exit plan when your location comes under attack.
As we fearfully walked, Aaron looked for updates on his phone and I tried to update on as many places as possible that we were not injured. Cell service was spotty (they eventually shut down cell service a little bit later), and I know several of my attempts were unsuccessful. Police with assault rifles started barricading in front of the subway entrances…for the routes we were standing over. The uncertainty was terrifying.
I know at some point I’ll be able to think about something else, but for right now, I am horrified, angry, sad, and grateful for our lives and the lives of everyone I know. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families. I have never felt so personally attacked, and it is just barely starting to sink in that…it so very easily could have been us. I had a very hard time seeing the finish line video footage on the news.
Thank you again for all of your concern and support. Every tweet, text, and message I got during our long walk out of the city helped my tired legs push a bit longer.
I think there are several efforts today in remembrance of the tragedy. The one I’m seeing the most is to wear a race t-shirt in honor of the spectators and volunteers who were killed supporting runners on race day. No matter how you choose to remember, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for the victims.