The 2013 Boston Marathon was one people won't soon forget. Jen and I met up last year to watch her friend Jason from St. Louis run, and for me to help navigate Jen, her bf Jonathan, Jason's mom and sister through Boston to watch him run. The day was bright and clear and a good temperature - which is now sadly not uncommon for a tragic event. We watched him run by on Hereford St., met him at the family area, and got him some soup post run. We were trying to get to the T on Arlington but the Marathon barriers made it impossible since it was near the finish line. We re-routed to the Back Bay Station and were about halfway there when we heard the explosions. It sounded like the cannons they shoot on the 4th of July during the 1812 Overture, but at 4 hours into the marathon with all the elite runners done - that didn't make any sense. I felt uneasy and went to Twitter to see what was up. The first thing I saw was from a local sports station DJ - Rich Shertenlieb, who lived on Boylston and tweeted that the windows of his apt had blown out. I was with out of town-ers, one who just ran 26.2 miles ! How was I going to break this to everyone?? I told Jen and Jonathan it was not a cannon, or a celebratory noise and texted my family. We walked a little further to the T stop, and saw a cop. His radio went of and everyone heard 'bomb'. I asked him if we should stay off the T and he let us know it would be closed soon. We hurried away to Newbury St. to find somewhere to gather our thoughts. No T, no bus, cabs no where to be found, and cop cars screaming through town - we decided our best bet was to walk back to where they were staying in Charlestown. I felt so bad that Jason had to walk after running so far! We made it to Charlestown, and watched events unfold. Jen drove me back to Somerville and I sat glued to the TV for a bit.
It was so strange to be so close to it all and have people checking in on me. I felt uneasy all day. In the days after, the crazy man hunt in Watertown and the general unease of people started to wear on me. I had woken up that morning to missed calls and frantic texts from Scott telling me not to go to work. I was so happy to escape town the day of the manhunt to CT for a Jim Breuer comedy show.
After all of it, I don't feel unsafe in Boston. It didn't make me want to shy away from the marathon, but actually made me want to go back to be a part of the next year when the city showed its love for its favorite event.
Jen came back this year to cheer on her cousin Katie. We had breakfast at Zaftig's with Scott, and took the T from Coolidge Corner to Kenmore. There was security at the T entrance checking bags, and I was grateful for the security. Scott headed home after a bit, and Jen and I hung out in the sun to see Katie. We tried to yell to Jason from St. Louis in the crowd but we just missed him running by. The day was clear, bright and beautiful. We met up with Katie at the BSC in town after her run and congratulated her ! Jen and I headed back to my apartment and she headed back home to VT.