This is my dad. The strongest man I know. I took the top picture as he was about 200 yards from the finish line at the Boston Marathon, about 10 minutes before the bombs went off. What you see in this picture is a man who is strong and proud, and looks as if he is winning the race, even though he is in 400th place. What you don’t see is the pain and years of training leading up to such a spectacular day that lead him to finishing the Boston Marathon. He was injured at the time, but was cleared to run the marathon only a week before the race. My family was waiting by the finish line along the railings on the side, and the night before the race he told us to look for him at about 3:00pm, because his pace would be slower and he didn’t want to push his luck with the injury. However, he ran faster than expected, so he finished about 20 minutes before his expected time. He finished at around 2:40pm….. the bombs went off at around 2:50pm. If he had ran any slower, he would have either not been able to finish the race he had spent the past three hours running, or he would have been affected by the bombs. It was a difference of only 10 minutes…. 10 minutes slower, and I could have lost my dad. At the end of the race and when you cross the finish line, theres a line of snacks and waters and foil blankets provided to the runners, and when my dad went back to get a blanket, he was about 100 yards from the explosions, and the rest of my family and I were about 150 yards away. My family wasn’t allowed past the finish line, so we didn’t know where he was and of course we thought the worst. Cell lines were down so there was no way to call him. We finally reunited about 40 minutes later in our hotel lobby which was on lock down. My dad had been one of the only runners to be able to get inside to the hotel and to his family, so he was swarmed with interviewers. He was on the Boston Globe, CNN, Fox, numerous radio stations and newspaper articles. What he spoke about was not the event itself, but directly to all runners. He made a point to say that no matter who or what tries to stop you from achieving whatever you want to do, runner or otherwise, don’t give up. And that’s exactly what he didn’t do: give up. Still to this day, he runs multiple marathons, some in other countries. He didn’t let the fear of one tragic day take away something he is so passionate about. So moral of the story: never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone try to take it away from you. “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”.
If you’re interested, here is one of his interviews:
Thank you so much for reading this.