Every year when we were in Boston we watched the marathoners run by.

There was the year we sat atop a grassy hill (just after Heartbreak) with wine, ahem, I mean juice and cheese and salami.

There was the year we ate hot dogs in Cleveland Circle and drank beer while watching through a pub window.

There was the year Taylor ran it–last year, when it was 90 degrees outside–when I watched it with Macie and her foster family and my sister and her fiance.


Did you know, because the forecast was so unusually hot, they gave all the runners the option of deferring to 2013 with no fees. They were concerned with the safety of the runners in such heat. And I admit, Taylor didn’t break any records that day, but he did finish and he had a good time.

At the finish line, 2012:


Needless to say, it’s a strange mix of gladness and sorrow and “what if” for us today.

I became a runner in high school, and though I don’t run often these days, I still love it. And cheering on the participants of the Boston marathon always got me going. There was so much humanity to see, watching the runners go by. The raw speed of the elites. True companionship–26.2 miles hand in hand. Each step of the way for someONE. So much hope, so much encouragement. I know how it feels to be cheered through a difficult spot in a race from the sidelines. I know how much that support means.

They say Boston is one of the best-cheered marathons in the world. There are thousands of spectators all along the course. We certainly did what we could to holler them through to the finish while we were there.

Which is why the tragedy of today’s events at the finish line is so personal to me. It’s not because I lived there, or even because I watched the marathon run by my home for five years. It’s because I’m a runner. It’s because I am married to a runner. Sister to one. Mother to a (very small, pitter-patter) runner. They are an amazing group.

My heart is with everyone in Boston. With runners and their families and supporters everywhere.

[If you are in Boston, find out how you can help. Taylor ran with the Red Cross last year, and they helped hundreds beat the heat then. They will work hard now to help everyone they can. You can donate here. Keep up with Eastern MASS Red Cross on their Twitter.]

Boston Athletic Association (with runner tracker)

Boston Police Twitter


  1. Jen wrote:

    Beautiful, Annie. God bless everyone in Boston.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. renidemus wrote:

    Thanks, Jen.. prayers abound!

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