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Eyes were beginning to blur; muscles were beginning to convulse; thousands were shouting from excitement. Through all these distractions, my mind began to form a clear picture of what was taking place. I was on the final stretch of the 2013 Boston Marathon, running down Boylston Street. I turned to see my entire family at the finish line, cheering me on. The timer ticked as I crossed the finish line. The completion time was three hours and twenty-seven minutes. I then walked to CVS, where I had agreed to meet my family. However, my father had also been running the 117th annual Boston Marathon, and my family continued to wait for him to cross the finish line. Unfortunately, our separation would define the rest of our day.
I heard two loud bangs as I was walking to CVS. I started pushing my way through hundreds of runners to reach CVS, where I met a group of post-marathon runners whom I had befriended. Soon, everyone in CVS heard the blasts. The rumor was that bombs had been gone off in T, Boston’s subway. The minutes dragged on until new information came: the bombs had gone off at the marathon’s finish line, where my entire family had been. With this newfound information about my family’s safety, my heart rate sped up, almost to the speed at which it beat as I was running the marathon. I began frantically calling my father’s fiancé, Cathie, to no avail because Boston had shut its wireless service. Hours had passed since I had finished, and there was still no sign of my father, who was expecting to complete the marathon around the time the bombs went off. As the clock ticked on and on, I began to lose hope, and dire thoughts flooded my head.
After hours of sitting patiently, I saw my father walking towards the CVS door, and the scene brought me indescribable joy. Luckily, he was safe, but we were tasked with the obstacle of finding the rest of our family in the crowds of people frantically running around. Quickly, we borrowed a stranger’s phone to call Cathie. After four strenuous rings, she answered, and we began heading in each other’s directions. After looking all over Boylston street, I saw my family, my older brother, Ryan, being interviewed by a news station due to his close vicinity to the bombings, my younger brother, and Cathie walking towards me.
The culprits in the marathon bombing did not take long to be identified; the men involved do not deserve to have their names in this essay. However, the entire city of Boston was affected by their acts, and many believed Boston would crumble after a terrorist attack; however, Boston persevered as one of the strongest cities in the world, rallying around the phrase “Boston Strong.” This city is why I remain firm. To this day, I cannot bear to watch any clips or ESPN stories about the marathon because it hurts me to do so, but to this day, I do have scars on my body that will forever remind me of the two marathons I have completed. After the completion of my second marathon, the 117th annual, I began to have pain while running. After several MRIs, it seemed I had torn my labrum in each hip. At the age of 16, I had a defining moment of who I will forever be, which not many can honestly say. Running the marathon showed me that some humans will try to do anything to destroy others, but the effort shown from other countries supporting the US showed me that running can bring the world together. Participating in and experiencing pain, physical and mental, at the 2013 Boston Marathon has shaped me into the man I am today.
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