Boston Marathoners vow to take back New England's sacred race

Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:40am EDT
 
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By Tim McLaughlin

BOSTON (Reuters) - "Left on Boylston" in this American city means only one thing on marathon day.

It means you're in the home stretch of the Boston Marathon, and all of the early morning runs in the dark New England winters, and all the wild cheering from family and friends, and all your memories about Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Uta Pippig, are about to carry you across the finish line.

"I can't even imagine when I turn onto Boylston," said Katie O'Donnell. "No doubt I will be crying. It's going to be incredibly emotional."

Last year, O'Donnell, 38, a doctor at Boston Children's Hospital, didn't finish the race after completing more than 25 miles. There was no "left on Boylston" for O'Donnell and a throng of other marathoners.

Officials stopped the race after two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

"It was such a sucker punch," O'Donnell said.

But on April 21, 36,000 runners, including O'Donnell, will be part of the second-largest field in the event's history, with the goal of taking back a race that New Englanders hold sacred.

David Chorney, 26, a law student at Suffolk University in downtown Boston, grew up in New Hampshire, just north of Massachusetts and remembers watching the race in study hall at elementary school. He didn't plan to run a marathon this year, but after the bomb attacks he accelerated his training so he could qualify.   Continued...

 
David Chorney and Mike Burnstein (L) train for the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder