I will write an official race report. But right now nothing I went through seems to matter.
After clearing the finish area, we decided to leave downtown on the train to have lunch near our friend Tim’s place. We crammed on a train and set off. A nice man gave Ama and I his seat. Ama was entertaining the whole train as usual. At the next stop an announcement came on telling us to leave the terminal due immediately due to an emergency. Not one person on the crammed train budged. We figured for whatever reason that since we were on the train, the announcement didn’t apply. He meant us and reiterated that. Soon the stairwell up was flooded. Somehow tired marathon legs found the strength to push up a flight of stairs carrying Ama. At this point, I had a feeling there was a bomb, and I continued down the street rather than figuring out where to go right outside. People were rushing around in all directions, some panicked, some confused. Then sirens everywhere, and the police and military sprang into action. It was absolute confusion and fear. We had no idea how many bombs, where or how big. Everyone was being move out but the trains were closed. We lucked out on a cab – but when it came we had to fight for it and thankfully Tim’s wonderful girlfriend Carol Ann, held tight. I held Ama close and buckled her in since we had no car seat.
Car seat or not, that car ride out of there felt much safer. It was also the first time we figured out what was going on. “I don’t know just get out of here” was all we heard until then. Something about it “being in the bleachers.”
As we rode away, a seemingly endless trail of ambulances and police cars stormed into town. Runners were getting pulled off course. One to the horrific news her friend was one of the injured.
It’s hard not to think about what might have been if the train was a second slower or I would have walked and Ama and John would have wandered over to see me finish. But it does no good. We lost an eight year old girl today along with another 2 lives. And over a hundred were injured. No one should ever have to live or die anything like this.
The hardest part might be that this attack was targeted at the spectators… and due to it’s low placement children. People don’t come to run Boston for the course. They come for the fabulous people that line the course for 26.2 miles to cheer for each runner like they were the only one out there. They come to offer things to complete strangers for nothing in return. The people that line these streets are the salt of this earth and it pains me so deeply that anyone would harm them.
Tension was still running high on the airplane. It’s the only time I’ve heard an announcement that passengers are not allow into the cockpit and that the door is bulletproof.
You should always count yourself lucky when your family is safe, happy and healthy. Today is a weird mix of immense pain for the wounded, dead and their families -and thankfulness that we made it out.