It’s been a month. A month since the terror ripped The City to the North apart. A month since murders, manhunts, city-wide panic, families locked in their homes, children kept from school, businesses closed and roads unused to free-up police. It’s been a month. And we remain Boston Strong.
With the Bruins making a comeback that will go down in history- I can’t help but think what I will remember more than explosions, the cover of Sports Illustrated, a play-off game that brought a city back from such sadness… I will remember John and Juli.
Below are their accounts directly after the race… I know there are still so many feelings running through the athletes- as with all of the Boston 2013 runners. Rather than let Boston be remembered as That Day, I want to preserve and celebrate it as the day history was made! Thank you to John and Juli for returning to Boston and finishing the race, and the beautiful medal-ing Owen did for his dad- It’s a moment that watching in the VIDEO brings tears to my eyes every time (how blessed we are with technology that we can all share it).
by Juli Windsor
Overwhelmed with sadness and heartbroken for those who lost loved ones today. I was only half a mile from the finish line, looking at a 4:30:00 finishing time, when I was stopped and told the race was canceled. There was confusion among the crowds and disbelief after hearing bombs had gone off at the finishing line. My heart dropped, knowing Blake, my mom, and mother-in-law were all at the finish line. Phone lines were down, so my attempt to call from a stranger’s phone was all in vain. All I could do was pray. I thought one of the most exciting days of my life was about to turn into one of the worst.
Thankfully, my family had crossed from the other side of the street from where the second bomb went off after I told them earlier that morning that I run on the right side of the road. Had I not said that, they would have been in front of one of the explosions. My initial goal was 4:15:00… had I not had trouble with the hills, I could have also been affected. My mom incurred some minor injuries and bruising from being pushed down in the crowds, but is otherwise fine. Overall, we’re just thankful.
When all this happened, I ran back to John Young who I knew was less than a mile behind me. John Young, I really am so thankful you were there and it provided so much comfort to be with someone I knew. We may not have crossed the finish line, but we achieved something today.
Pray for the families who lost loved ones and those who were injured. I’m so proud of Natalie Stavas for stepping in at the scene and providing CPR literally right after running a marathon. You never stop amazing me.
Blake, I don’t think I could have handled anything happening to you today. It’s difficult to even imagine. All I can do is sing praise for God’s protection.
By John Young
The Boston Marathon was the most surreal race of my life. THOUSANDS cheering me for MILES AND MILES. My goal was not a medal or even to finish. My goal was to have people realize that you can do ANYTHING you want no matter what body you have. I feel both Juli and I succeeded in doing that 100 times over. By the way, she is FAST and passed me with about 2 miles to go, leaving 100 minutes AFTER I did. But to run for almost 6 hours and listen to people cheer me on, is an experience I will never forget. Don’t feel sorry I did not finish, be HAPPY I started. Running (maybe walking a bit) up “Heartbreak Hill” I heard a young boy say, “Dad look at the little man running”, to which the father calmly stated, “He’s going to be one of the first dwarfs to run the Boston Marathon”. That’s all I needed to hear. Please don’t forget to pray for the families of the dead and injured.
Reliving these moments with John and Juli brings me, as a parent of a child with dwarfism, more confidence that she can do anything she wants and that we can share my love of sports together! We’re celebrating with you, John, Juli and Boston!