I’ve never been so excited, so nervous, so overwhelmed as I was to be able to run the Boston Marathon, especially after having my baby just 3 ½ months earlier. I was so proud I could share this experience with my mom, dad, husband, and my beautiful baby boy Brady. I just kept thinking one day Brady will look back at say “Wow, my mom ran the Boston Marathon and I was there!”
The race was everything to me and more. Words cannot even describe the emotions I felt running through each town, with the cheers of the crowd on both sides of the race. Everyone was so happy, screaming and shouting with joy because we were running this remarkable race: High fives, signs, and people handing out water, Gatorade, oranges, and popsicles, just to help us. It was wonderful.
As each mile passed, the more excited and accomplished I felt. I was one step closer to the finish line, and one step closer to seeing my family who were just as excited as I was. I hit mile 25 and knew this is it, I am almost there. I felt the crowds yell even louder, and the excitement among the other athletes grow stronger. I rounded the corner and heard, “YEH STEPH!!”
I glanced to my right and there they were! With all the pain I felt in my legs, I sprinted to my family and gave hugs and kisses, and looked over at my baby boy, peaceful as an angel. They all told me to keep going and we will meet you at the finish line, you can do this! I CAN do this I thought, I only have .2 of a mile left, that’s it, two tenths. What could happen in .2 of a mile?
I started running in the opposite direction from the finish line. The images I saw will haunt me forever. Everyone was screaming and shouting, “Get down, go that way, run this way!” I saw blood covering the streets, I saw people without their limbs, I saw people hurting, I saw scared people screaming, and I saw my life flash before my eyes.
As I sprinted down the street, I saw someone familiar coming towards me. It was my dad. He was screaming and crying and yelling my name as loud as he could. I ran into his arms and he just grabbed me and held me and told me everything was okay. I kept screaming, “Where is my baby? Where is everyone? Is everyone okay? Please tell me they are okay!” He grabbed me with tears coming down his face and said, “Everyone is okay, stay with me, we will be okay.” I held on to my dad and didn’t want to let him go.
The Boston Marathon has changed many lives and has opened my eyes, but I will run the Boston Marathon again. I will run to show my love and support. You may have hurt me, but you have not broken me. You may have scared me, but I will not live in fear.
For more personal accounts of the 2013 Boston marathon, click here.
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