Running has become a major part of the life of the Runnerazzi. I’ve taken well over 100,000 photos of runners at many of the major marathons: Boston, New York, Chicago and attended even more 5k, 10k and half marathon races along the way. Spending weekends at running events has become a part of our family and business life. My wife and her twin sister founded RunningSkirts a little over 9 years ago and that business brings us to running events all across the nation. I have been to the Boston Marathon several times as a spectator and the last couple of times I attended, I sat in the bleachers at the finish line and took photos of all the athletes.
Looking back at the 2013 Boston Marathon, it started out as a normal Monday, got the morning pre-race text messages from my wife and was getting ready to watch the live video stream online. My mother-in-law was at the house helping the Runnerazzi AKA dad with our two young boys and we were tracking the race online. We were tracking Cindy and her twin Christy along with several of our other friends. Cindy had a great race and finished with a time of 3:01:01 and was very close to going sub 3 hrs on the tough Boston course. They entered a female masters team and RunningSkirts won the team event by over 7 minutes. After the race, Cindy got her phone and it was all celebration and texting back and forth about the race and celebration for her team winning the masters division at the Boston Marathon!!! We continued to track other friends online and watch the video stream, we took a short break and around the 4 hr mark tuned back in to the video stream and there was smoke all over the finish line area near the international flags and no runners. It was surreal, there was talk about an explosion and I immediately thought is was an act of terrorism. I’ve been there sitting across from those International flags and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just had this horrible feeling.
My heart sunk when I heard from newscasters that explosions went off around the finish line. We all have gone back along the barriers after finishing a race to watch our friends come in and Cindy has done this many times. I couldn’t reach her by phone or text, no answer. I was getting instant responses prior to this. My mother-in-law and I both feared the worst, then as more news broke the newscasters started talking about bombs going off in more than one location and that police were checking hotels in the area. I was texting, facebooking, calling and didn’t hear a peep. It was the worst feeling in the world. Then about 40 minutes later I finally reached her by phone and can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear her voice. She told me she was in her hotel and I told her to run away from downtown because of the bombs. At this point no one really knew what was going on other than hearing a crazy amount of sirens and loud boom sounds prior to that. She was told to stay put and their hotel was on lockdown.
Below are photos I took from the bleachers at the 2010 Boston Marathon. All those supporters cheering in the background were standing near the same location as the victims in 2013. The 2014 Boston Marathon is fast approaching and I can’t stop thinking of those Boston marathon victims and their families. I only had 40 mins of uncertainty to deal with, my end result was positive, all my immediate friends and family were safe. I pray that all those victims and families find some sort of peace in their lives.
I am very excited to be attending the 2014 Boston Marathon. See you in Boston!