Tom Grilk's voice filled the air at the start of the Tufts Health Plan for Women 10K saying we are Boston Strong and we do what we always do, we run together. Have a great race everybody.
Eighteen months today since lives were forever changed and we as individuals, as a city and as a global community of runners have had to dig deep and find our strength.
After 25 years, after being diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease, at the age of 60 years old, Dave McGillivrey became an Ironman at the Ironman World Championship triathlon last weekend at Kona. He wore a Boston Strong Team MR8 singlet. He ran for the Martin Richard Foundation After the shootings in Newtown Connecticut in December of 2013, Martin made a sign that said, "No more hurting people. Peace." The photo of him holding that sign became a symbol for how to manage in the wake of the events of April 15, 2013. His family created the Martin Richard Foundation to carry on the spirit of their son to honor Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community.
Leo Fonesca is now the CEO of Stephanie's Restaurant Group. Photos of him carrying his close friend to safety wrapped in a blanket are but memories in the background of our lives. He is now a 2014 Boston Marathon finisher. He had never run before taking on the challenge of the 2014 Boston Marathon but he was determined to make it to the finish line for those who couldn't this year. He will be running the New York City Marathon in just a few weeks as part of Team MR8 and has already exceeded his fund raising goal of $5,000.
The call is going out for charity runners to send in their applications for the 2015 Boston Marathon. What a different journey runners will have on the road to next year's marathon no longer counting down the days to or from Boston Marathon 2013. That knot in the stomach we had when we woke up on the 15th day of every month for that first year is gone.
I chose to wear my L Street Running Club t-shirt for the Tufts 10K. On the back it says "We run as one" and has the signature yellow and blue Boston Strong ribbon.
The ladies running Tufts sported Boston Strong attire:
As I passed police officers and State Troopers along the course, I thanked them for their presence and was moved to say Boston Strong as I ran. On some level I sensed the upcoming 18 month anniversary of when our lives changed forever.
Yes - our lives changed forever and we are Boston Stronger. We have learned how to journey well!
The first 7 years of my healing odyssey are chronicled in Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon. I donate 50% of royalty payments to The One Fund Boston to help survivors and their families who were affected by the tragic events of 4/15/13.
I'm working on my 2nd book, "Journey Well," due out later this year: