Friday, December 27, 2013


Snow on the beach.  York, Maine.  The way life should be.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

USATF Club XC Nationals. DTC.

This weekend Dukes Track Club headed to Bend, OR to compete in the USATF Club XC National Championship.  276 of the fastest women and 410 of the fastest men in the country, and that's just in the open race.  Women's and men's masters races were also held that morning!  I haven't raced XC since NCAA Nationals in 2005.  Colby College XC, underdogs finishing in fifth place in the nation.  It was nice to lace up some spikes again!

I ran 24:46 for 6K.  Not exceptional.  A week before I'd run 23:46 for the 6K (6:20s) in 20 degrees at 6000 feet by myself.  I'd had bigger goals for this race.  Place didn't matter to me, but I'd hoped to run closer to 6:00 pace.  In reality, only eight women broke 6:00 pace.  The course was tough, 2K loops on a muddy, hilly, stutter step golf course.  The first two laps I held pretty steady and strong, not getting passed, closing gaps.  I hid lap three, and really started to burn up.  Heavy breathing, burning lungs, legs, arms.  And slowly dropping back.  Happy to finish where I did in the top half for my fitness level.  30 seconds faster would have brought me 50 places toward the front.  Humbling and inspiring experience to be surrounded by so many phenomenal athletes.  Recently, my girls and I have had some pretty solid XC style workouts at the Academy XC course, a very tough course.  Unfortunately, there's no replica for competition, and that's where I felt like I was lacking.  It would have been nice to have the opportunity to race one XC race beforehand!

All the individual stuff aside, I wouldn't change this weekend for the world.  Dukes Men finished 28th of 50 teams and Dukes Women finished 32 of 34.  Very proud of everyone for getting outside of their comfort zone.  Steph, racing in the open race with us instead of the masters.  Sam for your first XC race ever.  Vanessa, for your first since college.  And Leen, for your first XC race since high school and your strongest ever.  Thank you to my team for being not only my friends, but my family too.  Without you I'm nothing but an individual, alone.  Together we are a team, creating memories, blazing trails, and building our little dream of the Dukes Track Club in the national running community.  Also thanks to everyone that supported us remotely, with positive words and cheers from afar, and to Picky Bars for a FANTASTIC post race dance party!  I'm looking forward to the USA XC Championships in February 2014 in Boulder, CO, and hope that we'll all be there together!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Goodbye old friend.

A sad day for the Garmin 210.  Frozen and unable to charge, it's been sick for a little while now but would always come back to life.  After 10 months, 3383 miles, and a lot of memories in many places, this guy is being replaced with the new Garmin Forerunner 220.  Goodbye old friend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Day

Yesterday I gave thanks for family, friends, food, happiness, and health.  Though I wasn't with my family for the holiday, I was adopted by two separate ones for the day.  Can't complain about two wonderful meals with friends.  Too many blessings to count.

One highlight of the day was our morning Turkey Trek 5K.  Holidays, costumes, and any reason to dress up and run are near and dear to me.  Clearly, this was how I was raised, since both my sister and I represented the 505 (NM) and the 303 (CO) in matching turkey costumes in races 400 miles apart...without knowing the other was matching.  

This is important Albuquerque breaking news, in which questions asked in the Channel 7 interview included what it was like to run in a turkey costume (hot) and what it felt like to assist in a great cause supporting the Storehouse of Greater Albuquerque (fabulous, especially since the Dukes Track Club had made a separate donation, and a lot of us were "racing").  In case anyone was wondering, I am having an identity crisis...runner/turkey.

This is also important news in Vail, Colorado, where my sister Sarah and her boyfriend Quinn made the front page of the paper.  Team Turkey!

Some great performances, and a lovely way to start the holiday with friends.  From L-R, Josh (and baby Elliot), Tony, Turkey, Jesse, James, Phil, and Jonathan.  Dukes Track Club representation was strong!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Can't touch your toes either??

Researchers have found a correlation between lack of flexibility and performance, all due to a gene that some possess.  The idea is that tight muscles, which are more prevalent in individuals with this gene (COL5A1), have an effect on speed and performance because of the physics of energy return.  Tight muscles equal improved performance through improved running economy...

Not sure we can call this high quality scientific evidence (small sample size, one population, no repetition of the study, etc)...but I'll say I dislike my tight legs a little less today!

Check it out here...

Oh hi big Kinvaras.  I love you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Inspiration and Albuquerque Fit

Yesterday evening I had the honor of being the guest speaker at the Albuquerque Fit end of season banquet.  I met a lot of fantastic athletes who had represented Albuquerque Fit at races all over the country this year.  Many people had race shirts and medals on, and all were proud of what they'd accomplished.  Everyone was excited about their successes and progress, and also seemed optimistic for what the future held...many were planning their next races.  Albuquerque Fit has about 250 members and encourages both first time runners and experienced veterans.  Their motto is "Change your life, " which I think running does for us all in a way.  I was asked to speak a little about inspiration, and here is what I came up with....even if it's little cheesy reading through it again :)

"I am not a natural athlete.  I'm more of a self proclaimed nerd.  My natural talents lie more in speed reading than coordination and athletic prowess.  I spend a lot of time face down on the pavement, having tripped over nothing, and I'll never be able to touch my toes or kick a soccer ball straight.  Im not a natural athlete, but i am a runner.  We are all runners here!

The only reason I'm here with you today is because I've worked hard and i didn't quit when the going got tough.  My dream is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic marathon trials and be the fastest female dentist in the nation, maybe even the world.  I want to run ultras, up and down mountains, and travel the world for races.  I'll get nothing from that but something to tell my grand kids, and an incredible journey full of memories and friends along the way.

Albuquerque Sunset
Gary asked me to speak about inspiration.  For me this is a hard topic. So many things get me out the door everyday....sunsets, spectacular views wherever you are, the changing seasons, incredible performances and hard work paying off that we witness and hear about, self meditation both positive and negative, good conversation with friends...but when trying to think about what really INSPIRES me...I'd have to say the relationships I’ve cultivated with other runners, and the people that I've helped inspire to be involved with or improve in running, something I feel so passionately about...that's my number one.  When everything comes full circle.

To me, this translates to a lot of things...friendships, teammates, even just passing interactions with other runners we meet along the way.  But I'd have to say the most notable to me is the story of my dad.

Stew, my dad, is not a natural athlete.  He's a beekeeper, a woodworker, a chef, a genealogist, an excellent golfer, and in his free time practices medicine in my hometown in Maine. So, he has a lot of hobbies. Running was never one of them. I started competing in the 100m dash back in high school, my first ever athletic didn't end well.  The distance coach took one look at me and said, “Well.  This will never're a two miler, NOT a sprinter.”  Life changed from there.

Weekends became cross country and track meets all over the state of Maine, for both my younger sister and I. High school came and went, college athletics took over.  Races all over the country gave way to marathons after graduation.  All through this journey we had our number one fans...our parents. But somewhere along the way, a little switch clicked for stew...”I'm going to run a marathon too.”  I think he wanted a little attention after all.

So At the age of 56, he started to train for, and ran his first marathon, Chicago 2010. So When Gary asked me to speak about inspiration, this is what came to mind, knowing that somewhere along the way, I'd inspired one of the people closest to me to be a part of something big; the running community.
Disney 2013

Since then, he's started and completed six marathons in five states, training through humid summers and frigid Maine winters.  When we run with my dad, my sister and I both wear shirts that say "I'm with Stew," with those little arrows that point at him.  Stew wears a white tech Tee I made him with his name on it.  It's too big for him now, but he still wears it.  Underneath his bib number, there is a tally of how many marathons he's completed. Every race, we cross another one off.  He used to be embarrassed when it said “First Marathon,” but now he's proud to have a bunch of slash marks on it.

Maine Coast 2013
I've had the honor of pacing him though four of his marathons, but this last was where I was the most proud.  Stew signed up for Twin Cities, which was three weeks ago now.  I was supposed to compete, but due to a number of things going on with my health i didn’t race.  Running isn't always easy.  This became his day.  I jumped in at mile 16, pacing him through the last ten. With four miles to go, he said "I don't think I can keep this pace."  the hardest thing we face as athletes is the battle with our own heads.  When the mind goes that way, the only hope is to get your focus and belief back. "You can" I said, "you will. This is your day."  That switch clicked. I saw, "yes I can yes I will."  His last two miles, the fastest of the race, five minute PR, 4:27:32.

Post Twin Cities.  Number six.
I've never been so inspired, watching him believe in himself and conquer a goal, and knowing that in some way, I'd inspired him too.  Everything comes full circle.

Everyone pulls inspiration from somewhere, and I think it's important to reflect on that from time to time....reflecting on these inspirations is one of the things that I have on my little list of rules...

Here are a few more, in no particular order.

-Never forget your Body glide.  Its preventative. Buy in bulk.

-If there is no line at the port o potty. Use it. If there is a line, well, it's ok to pee your pants. Really.

-Keep a cowbell in your car. You never know when you may need it.

-Remember that you get out of your body what you put in. Food is fuel and you're your own science experiment. Treat it well, and it will treat you well back. That doesn't mean you can't thank it with a beer or two every now and then.

-Find The right shoes for YOU.  I’m a Saucony girl.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same model for 20 years.  Keep what works.

-It's ok to be starstruck, no matter what level you are at.  Desi Davila autographed my bib before the Boston marathon. I knew it would be a good race with her on my side!

-Non-runners will never fully understand you.  They probably think we are all nuts. They may ask you how your jogging is going these days. Just smile, say great, and continue to wear your race t shirts to work. You're not the crazy one...they are.

-Be nice to yourself. This is something I struggle with constantly. Self doubt is your enemy, especially in running and endurance events.  From training to racing, we spend a lot of hours out there. There is plenty of time for negativity to take over, but there is plenty of time for positive thoughts to push their way past that.  “I can't I'm not strong enough I didn't train enough” HAS to become “I can I am strong I own this day.”

-Lastly, remember that you are NOT alone out there, any day.  You are part of something HUGE.  The running community, both in Albuquerque and worldwide, grows closer and larger every day, and includes everyone from volunteers to spectators to the athlete them-self.  Look around you!  These people are your inspiration, your friends, your enrichment, and your keys to success and happiness.  Appreciate them, and appreciate the journey they take you on.

That's all I have for now. A lot of races on the horizon, and a lot of work to do.  Thank you everyone for all your support, for being my inspiration, and for being part of something big. I'm excited for all your current and future successes! 

Just remember to keep dreaming, even through the tough times, and you'll become exactly what you want to be."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another year...

29 years down!  What a ride.  Incredible people, incredible family, incredible memories.  

Many more to come.  

Feeling GRATEFUL.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Quick Seawheeze recap...
Wonderful extended weekend in Vancouver and Washington with family and best friends. Race wise, second female of 8400 females with an alright 1:22:45. Not allowed to be upset...a difficult hilly course (winner didn't break 80min either) and a freaking out hamstring that caused me to stop twice I the last 3k, losing a minute or so...all around a strong race physically and mentally on a beautiful course with the best superfans EVER (Jo,Di,Dana,TK).
Proud of my people who also raced strong and had fun!  More deets to come!

Monday, August 5, 2013

La Luz. Everyone's a weiner.

DTC Saturday Long Day
The Sandia Mountains, which watch over Albuquerque from the East, are the home of the La Luz trail.  The race up this trail began in 1965 with nine total runners, and runs nine miles up switchbacks, rock slides, various ecosystems, and a set of stairs. With close to 4000 feet of elevation gain and a grade of 12%, well, spectating is a lot more fun!  To enter the race, participants enroll in a lottery which allows a total of 400 racers per the US Forest Service.  Times on this single track span from 90+ minutes to close to five hours.  

Sammy Pants dominating
Our day began with a car load of people, Starbucks, and some costumes in a bag.  I never cease to be inspired by the community of athletes and supporters in Albuquerque.  "Six minutes till the first runners come through!" a volunteer told us.  Two minutes later, our friend Kris came blazing through with no warning, winning the race in 1:22:15 (9:08 min/mile pace), beating out former champion Simon Gutierrez by one minute.  Kris also broke the world record in the stroller half marathon (yes, pushing a baby) in a time of 1:12:11 (5:30 min/mile pace)...a race 4.1 miles longer while pushing his thirteen month old daughter.  If that doesn't show you that this course is hard, I don't know what will!

After that, a sea of Dukes.  Loren Wohletz in 3rd (after running Hard Rock 100 three weeks ago), Chris Pev in 4th, Stuart Lisle in 5th, Matt Piccarello in 8th, Anthony Fleg in 9th, Travis Mcwhorter in 36th.  So many teal jerseys coming across the line.  Becoming an Albuquerque household name.  Sorry if I left anyone out, just too many!


We all know Alex Darling is a stud.  Not only is she gorgeous and super speedy over a fast short stuff, but today she proved that when she sets her mind to something, nothing gets in her way.  Including a mountain.  Alex cruised into first place in 1:58:10, close to a minute over the next female.  Stephanie Latimer rocked 7th place and an age group win.

And of course, my Lululemon family.  Who else would have a full on tailgate at eleven thousand feet, celebrating how amazing everyone is.  Chase Peregroy (over 10min PR), Sam Fernandez (smiling the whole way), Irene Minster (had enough energy to tell me I was a good liar when I told her she looked fab), Britney Jaeger (first time La Luz finisher, and I'm sure she'll sign up next year!)  You guys rock.

Happy Cheer Squad and Finishers
In the end, we managed to make many people smile, force fed some fruit leathers and gummy bears to depleted runners, and listened to Eye of the Tiger and Final Countdown about 400 times.  The Rocky theme song is still playing in my head.  But that's what makes this all worth it, turns some of the selfish  aspects of this sport around.  Being part of the competition from both sides is wonderful, and being a spectator always gives a new perspective every time.  Proud of my people, and proud of all 349 runners that crossed the line!

And in case anyone ever forgets that this happened, it's now a matter of public record....

Thanks ABQJournal!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

There's not many things I love more than nut butters...

Super duper excited to be supported by NuttZo!  What an honor.  Just so everyone knows, I'm in love with this product.

Specifically, Crunchy Peanut Free Nuttzo.  Perfect blend of seven nuts....cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.  Second in line would be the dark chocolate flavor :)

Organic, gluten free, vegan.  Healthy fats.

Check out the athlete pages here!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Women's Distance Festival Recap

Disclaimer: If you don’t like the sappy stuff, skip to the bottom :)

Wow.  The Women’s Distance Festival was my first “race” after moving to Albuquerque in late June of 2011.  I showed up with no expectations, no goal, and knowing not a single person.  That day I broke nineteen minutes for the first time in five years (18:56), I won overall, and I met a lot of fabulous people...including current race director, Eric Beiderman, and many members of the Albuquerque Road Runners.  In July of 2012, a faster 18:05, a second win, and friends, there to cheer me on...Lululemon had become my Abq family.  

July of 2013.  Today I ran a lifetime PR of 17:51.  Faster than college, at altitude, win for the third year.  Surrounded by people and teammates I love, dressed up as hot dogs and out of bed before the sun rose to cheer on our crew (Dukes Track Club).  Not only that, but it was hard not to get a little emotional as the sea of teal and red Dukes Track Club jerseys flowed across the finish line, personal record after personal record.  I’m a sucker for this stuff, I know, but to be surrounded by women and men who push you and support you consistently...that’s invaluable.  

A lot has happened in a year.  I’ve dropped minutes from my marathon time.  I feel stronger and happier than ever.  I have AMAZING sponsors (Saucony, Nuun, and Nuttzo).  I have a coach who I trust 100% (thanks Brett Schumacher!)  And most importantly, I have teammates, friends, and fans who inspire me, everyday, to never give up.

There's a long way to go still and a lot of work to be done...but you can't do it alone!

For those “non-saps”

I am not allowed to complain about a PR, or anything about today...but I made a rookie mistake, which I'll blame on fidgeting with and not starting my watch, and ran the first mile too fast.  5:28 first mile, which should have been a 5:35.  Second mile around 5:40, third mile around six minute.  Just a little tweak and holding back, not running from adrenaline, saving something for that last bit.  Playing it smart would have led to a stronger finish and an overall faster time.  I’d love to take this down to sea level and see where consistency could put me.  Years ago, I never thought I’d break 20min.  Now it’s time for a new goal...but what???  There's still a LONG way to go!  THAT SAID, I'm psyched about today, and I hadn’t run a 5K since this race last year.  I was VERY nervous going into this, since this race meant a lot to me, number one because the race itself is awesome, well organized, and a ton of fun, number two because I'd won it the last two years, and number three because this was the first REAL benchmark of fitness to this point.  I’ve made a lot of changes in terms of recovery (foam rolling and massage as often as possible), nutrition (eating MORE food, not just clean and real food), and training (more miles).  Things I’m still working on...strength and sleep, my dreaded S’s.  But it is nice to know that even with these changes, I've not lost anything, and I hope I can say that I've gained something by being 14 seconds faster than last year.  Yes, it is 23 miles short of a marathon, but still, I hope it means something!  Race Results here...2013 Results

Next up....Lululemon SeaWheeze!  Vancouver, here we come!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My friends are faster than your friends :)

Loving Tuesday mornings!  The Dukes Track Club is a collection of post-collegiate distance runners.  We train for races ranging from 5k to 100milers.  Tuesdays have been early morning track workouts up at Academy, the only place in town with trees, grass, and sprinklers.  The turnout is bigger and bigger each week, and it truly is amazing to have a group to train with and inspire me.  The greatest thing is that everyone supports each other, and is thrilled when the other is doing well or has a good workout.  Support is everything!  There are a bunch of races coming up for us all, Seawheeze half marathon, US Marathon Champs at Twin Cities, St. George and Skagit marathons, and Western States 100miler to name a few.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Happy to have arrived back in Maine for the weekend!  Got in late last night/early this morning, just in time for the Four on the Fourth road race in my hometown. I can't count how many times I've run this race, and I'm not sure if this was my fastest or my slowest!  Satisfactory day and first race post-Boston. First mile, 6 flat, last mile, 6:40. No excuses, but my body did not hold up well to this humidity and wouldn't let me stay at 6 flat. Second female overall, no complaints about that, and just hoping it will be cooler and drier in Vancouver next month (Seawheeze half marathon)!  Spent the rest of the day with family and friends, lobster and beach, loving Maine :) Happy Independence Day!
Great finally meeting Polina, who's training for a half in the fall!
Sweat. #FindYourStrong

Sunday, June 9, 2013

TWA crash site in the Sandia Mountains

The Dukes Track Club had a fantastic adventure on Saturday heading up to the site of a plane crash from 1955 in the Sandia Mountains.  Twenty-three of us met early and headed up the hill for an eleven mile, 3K feet, trek that included a couple of wrong turns, some bumps, bruises, and scrapes, and good memories.  

This excerpt is from Wikipedia with some history of the plane crash.

On February 19, 1955 at 7:03 am, TWA flight 260 en route from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Santa Fe, New Mexico received an IFR clearance from the Albuquerque tower ("ATC clears TWA 260 for approach at the Santa Fe Airport via Victor 19 climb northbound on the back course of the ILS localizer"). There were no further communications after the aircraft took off at 7:05. It was last seen in a high speed shallow climb toward the cloud-shrouded Sandia Ridge at an estimated altitude of 3,000 feet above ground level.
At 7:13 the flight crashed into the Sandia Mountains killing all 13 passengers and three crew members on board instantly. Due to the complex mountainous terrain, a day after the crash several members of the New Mexico Mountain Club, along with other volunteers assisted the New Mexico State Police in the recovery efforts leading to the formation of the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, a voluntary organization still active today.

Kinvara Trail...full o' rocks

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A reflection on the Boston Marathon.

This post was started a few days after the marathon, but it has taken me a few weeks to find the words to actually complete it.  Looking back on the events of Marathon Monday has left me in a state of utter disbelief.  Disbelief that someone is evil enough to hurt and kill people who have done no wrong, disbelief that this even happened.  It will always seem like a nightmare.

The Boston Marathon is my favorite day of the year, always has been, always will be.

The Prudential steps
The first time I cried on Marathon Monday was early, in the athletes village.  25,000 plus people, silent, for twenty six seconds, remembering the twenty-six victims of the devastation that occurred in Sandyhook, CT, a few short months ago.  Remembering, knowing we’d remember again, when we reach Mile 26, which was dedicated to the lives lost.  The second time I cried was when I was running, around mile ten.  A gentleman with cerebral palsy was completing the race with the help of three guides.  He was facing backwards, and as I cheered him on, he smiled and stuck out his hand for a high five and smiled.  Inspiring.  I'm not sure if he was able to finish the race that day.  The third time I cried, I was outside the Fairmont Copley, race HQ, at 2:50PM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  Panic, confusion, away from my people, alone.

All together, until 2:50pm, the day had been perfect.  Up early, quad shot espresso in hand, Mother dancing around the bed singing god knows what and Father mapping out his precise spectating plan.  A race morning filled with nerves, hugs, friends, inspiring people, and fabulous hospitality organized by the BAA.  I have no complaints about my race.  The Boston Marathon is a beast, humbling, a challenge that people work their entire lives to qualify or fundraise for.  The most prestigious marathon in the world.  The energy of the day is infectious for all.  Eighty runners from New Mexico, Dukes Track Club and Albuquerque Road Runners, people on the course who've been integral in shaping me as a runner from all times in my life, and my family and friends who are my number one fans and supporters.  Old coaches, race announcers, York High School, Colby College, Tufts Dental grad school friends.  New Balance Boston, Saucony Hurricanes, past and present teammates.  

Jo and Stew, number one fans

Hutch and Al, York High School
coaches and the reason I still run. 

Gary Allen, fellow Mainer and an inspiration.
Andy Schachat, race announcer
New England is HOME still, though I live far away.  I felt strong throughout, ran with New Mexico friends until mile 14, then solo until mile 17.5 when Tyler jumped in.  Tyler has helped myself, my sister, and my father during the end of many marathons, and this was no exception.  Water, fuel, positive words...he had 'em all.  When i got tired, he told me stories of Ranger School and the Army, how tough it can be, and it made me feel not so tired anymore.  Coming through Fenway, Citgo in sight, the crowds, huge, loud, intoxicated, totally Bostonian.  Under the bridge, I hear my name, thumbs up, turn right on Hereford, Steve and Dan, loud as could be, put the sprint back into my legs.  Left on Boylston, breath taken away, down the hill to the historic line, look at the watch, sub 2:53 it’ll be, and there, center of the wide blue finish, my person, crouched and squinting, open arms.  Smile, strength, push across, hug and happiness.  2:52:53.  Happy.  Twelve minute Boston PR, the first of four Bostons that I enjoyed and appreciated every moment and every spectator, even when the moments were tough and the spectators were smoking cigars (yes, cigars).  I love the Boston Marathon.  

Finish line, bliss and Saucony #FindYourStrong
R-L: photobomb guy, Tyler, Liz, TK, Stew
and his ginormous camera

Post-race staggering around, dry clothes, curled up on a park bench for a while, found my people, got down to lunch, but couldn’t sit still.  Wasn’t right to be inside.  Went looking for Arlene, found both her and TK, brought her inside to my family.  Went back outside for Jesse, to bring him through the VIP entrance to the Fairmont.  

“Just me again,” I said to the guards as I walked out, “I’ll be right back.”
BOOM.  BOOM.  We look at each other, then to the EMTs next to us.  
“What was that?” I said to them.  We are around the corner from the library, not in direct view of the finish, but about 400 feet away.
“I’m not sure what that was," said the EMT, as their walkie talkies start going nuts with voices and sound and panic.  "Just run the other way."  
Boston Police running towards the line, marathoners covered in mylar sheets running the other.  
Decision time: back inside the hotel where it is “safe,” or go find Jesse.  Jesse is alone, have to find him.  Start sprinting, adrenaline is the only thing making the legs move.  They try and throw me out of the secure zone, now for emergency personnel only, but I don’t listen until they physically try to grab me and throw me out.  Hop a fence, standing on a raised platform in front of the Hancock tower, screaming Jesses name, screaming screaming.  People this far down don’t know what has happened, though I don’t either, business workers coming out of the building saying it’s a gas explosion, that it’s traveling down the lines, get as far away as you can, there will be more explosions.  All I can think is this insane and morbid thought; I don’t want to get blown up alone.  I want to find my people.  

Ten minutes pass, no cell phones working, word is spreading and people are crying, frantic trying to find their loved ones.  Jesse and I find each other and get back into the Fairmont, now on lockdown.  My family is there, they tell me TK is safe, relief washing over since he’d been at the finish multiple times today.  From there we are locked in, together at least, for the next four hours.  Trying to make sure all of our people are safe, and alert everyone that knew we were here that we are too.  Our vantage point was the sixth floor of the Fairmont, looking over the ravaged finish chute, void of humans.  I’ve never seen an armored SWAT vehicle traveling the wrong way on Boylston, and I hope never to again.  The finish line med tent was visible, ambulances at the exit, rushing the wounded off to hospitals, people on gurneys all covered up.  Loud noises outside, a possible controlled detonation, suspicious packages found along the street and in other hotels, other explosions in areas of the city, everyone’s dropped gear is part of the crime scene.  No one knows what is next.

Finish chute and Copley Square from the top floor of the Fairmont.  Devastation, everything knocked down and a lone policeman in the corner.  This photo should be filled with marathoners, the finish line would be to the left of the photo.

Time passes, the hotels open to allow people out, rerouted runners who were stopped at mile 25 start returning.  One women states she’d been in the medical tent with her husband, who had a calf cramp, when the bombs exploded.  She was forced to stay as the injured were rushed in, some in shock, bloody, missing limbs.  Her children, she said, had been taken outside so they wouldn’t see.  The questions remain, who, why, what reason would anyone have for attacking this event and this day.  Three confirmed dead, two young women and an eight year old boy, close to 200 wounded. 

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The next day, Boylston still closed, the crime scene the largest and most complex in Massachusetts history.  Runners coming to pick up baggage that had been abandoned, individuals receiving their medals, many in tears, happy they are safe, proud of their accomplishments.  “I only made it to mile 18 before they picked me up,” some would say, “I don’t deserve a medal.”  Others made it to 25, others were ten feet from the explosion.  “You do deserve it,” we would say.  “We all were finishers in this years race, we just had different finish lines.”  I took some time to walk around the city, hundreds of news trucks from all over the world took up the streets, national guard and police at every corner, an air of emptiness and defeat hanging over the city.  But as part of Boylston reopened on Tuesday mid-morning, the furthest area from the finish, close to the Public Garden, people start marching forward, getting closer.  I watch someone lay down a bouquet of flowers, people start setting down signs, teddy bears.  A finishers medal hangs from the barricade.  The city, and the runners, are picking themselves up.  Strong. 

A woman receiving her medal from a volunteer
and some guardsmen
Posters hanging on the Mass Ave bridge

By the next morning this little memorial has grown to stretch across the road, others like it have sprouted along the perimeter.  United is the city.  Don’t mess with Boston, and don’t mess with marathoners.  Three weeks have gone by, the streets have reopened, but a large memorial still remains in the center of Copley Square.

April 15th, 2013 will be a day never forgotten, a day that changed many people’s lives in such a way that they physically and mentally will never be the same.  The Boston Athletic Association, volunteers, medical personnel, armed services and emergency personnel...even other runners who assisted the injured...we owe you all immense thanks.  And for Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, Sean Collier, you were all too young.  In the words of Martin Richard, “No more hurting people.  Peace.”

Martin Richard, Age 8
In closing, I’d just like to thank everyone that made this day what it was...both before 2:50pm and after.  I’ve never felt more supported, and I know everyone out on the course that day can say the same.  The positive energy was infectious throughout the race, and that’s what makes Boston the race that it is.  The concern afterwards...well, all I can say is I truly am blessed.  The outreach from friends and family and the influx of social medial from all over the world was astonishing, and I am grateful for each of you.  
Run for Boston, held in Albuquerque, NM
As the story continues to unfold, please keep showing your support for the victims and their families through donations to the One Fund, established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.  To date, the One Fund has raised over twenty-eight million dollars and climbing.  There are many ways to help financially...Boston remembrance runs are being held nationwide, Saucony is selling #BostonStrong shoe lace medallions, Adidas has Boston Stands As One t-shirts, fundraisers are being held.  Every bit helps.  

The other thing to do...take a solo easy run, a 5K road race, a marathon.  DEDICATE it to the victims and the cause.  No matter if you’ve just started running recreationally or see yourself as competitive in your races, we are all the same.  In the face of tragedy, our community of runners has never been more powerful and determined.  We are united.

Boston Strong.