The Daily Free Press
Year xliv. Volume lxxxvi. Issue XLVIII
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University
Boston emerges triumphant
2014 Marathon brings new joy to Boston community By Felicia Gans Daily Free Press Staff
Spectators cheered on family members at the 24-mile mark just before Kenmore Square.
leged bombers, by writing their names on the corners of his bib. The women’s winner, Rita Jeptoo, came in shortly after Keflezighi. The 33-year-old runner, of Eldoret, Kenya, crossed the finish line with a time of 2:18:57. The 2014 Boston Marathon was Jeptoo’s third time winning the race in Boston, after placing first in 2006 and 2013. This year, she beat her personal best time of 2:19:57 and also beat the female course record of 2:20:43, which was owned by Margaret Okoya, another Kenyan, in 2002. The first American woman to cross the line was Shalane Flanagan, a 32-year-old Massachusetts native, currently living in Portland, Ore. She came in seventh place with a time of 2:22:02, which beat her personal best of 2:25:38. “The 2014 Boston Marathon will be run
One year after the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three and injured more than 260, marathon runners, spectators and other members of the community joined together to celebrate Marathon Monday, while keeping the deceased and injured in their hearts. The Boston community planned a slew of events the week prior to this year’s Marathon, affirming a dedication to remembering Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Martin Richard, the three died at the Marathon bombings, and Sean Collier, who died during the manhunt that followed a few days later. The commemoration culminated in a tribute event that took place April 15, exactly one year after the 2013 Boston Marathon. On the day of the 2014 Boston Marathon, the solemn mood of a city remembering a tragedy transformed into one of love and unity. The marathon route, which ran from Hopkinton to the Boston Public Library, was filled with family members, friends and spectators, cheering on the registered runners, who represented 95 countries from across the globe Fabio Martins, 36, came from São Paulo, Brazil to participate in this year’s Boston Marathon, his third in the United States. With his wife and two kids cheering him on from the sidelines, Martins said this marathon was a unique experience “[Boston] is special,” he said. “Everyone talks about the population and the crowds here, and it’s just really nice. I’m happy to be here. I’m probably too much happy. In addition to the cultural diversity of the runners, this year’s marathon also saw two marriage proposals at the finish line, thousands of Boston Strong signs and the first American to win the Marathon since 1985, among a variety of other record-breaking events Adding to the spirit of strength and excitement, Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, two newlyweds who each lost their left legs in the bombings last year, crossed the finish line together in wheelchairs, with the crowds
Records, see page 7
Celebration, see page 2
ANN SINGER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Keflezighi, Jeptoo finish victorious ahead of 36,000 runners By Kelsey Newell Daily Free Press Staff
On Monday, with temperatures reaching nearly 70 degrees, thousands of people watched the 118th Boston Marathon, where several new records were set and an American runner won for the first time in 29 years. After two bombs went off at the 2013 Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, the Boston Athletic Association took measures to ensure this year’s marathon would be safe for all participants and spectators. BAA announced in August it would expand the field of runners to 36,000 to accommodate the recent spike in interest. This year’s marathon had 35,671 registered runners, a significant increase from the 26,839 runners in the 2013 Marathon. Of the registered runners, 95 countries were represented, with 83 percent of the runners from the United States. Boston had 1,914 total runners in the race, which was
more than any other city. Meb Keflezighi, 39, from San Diego, won the marathon with a time of 2:08:37, the second-fastest time by an American male in Boston. He is the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 and the first American to win since 1985. This is Keflezighi’s third career victory, as he also won the New York City Marathon in 2009 and the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012. On Monday, he beat his previous personal best time of 2:09:08, but he did not beat the course record of 2:03:02, set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011. Several spectators said they were thrilled to see Keflezighi representing the community in the Marathon. Keflezighi honored the three victims killed in the bombings last year and the MIT police officer Sean Collier, who died in a shoot-out with the al-
Marsh Chapel prayer service honors victims while 2014 Boston Marathon progresses By Adrian Baker Daily Free Press Staff
Students gathered across Boston University’s Charles River Campus Monday to celebrate the 2014 Boston Marathon while remembering the lives of those lost in light of last year’s tragedy. About an hour after the 2014 Boston Marathon began, Marsh Chapel held a Marathon Monday Prayer Service and Brunch for members of the BU community to honor lost and injured in the 2013 Marathon bombings and to inspire hope among attendees at this year’s Marathon. “We give thanks for the strength and support shown by those who have mourned with us in faithfulness and courage,” said Marsh Chapel Dean Robert Hill during the service. Hill acknowledged the deaths of those killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, including BU graduate student Lu Lingzi, as
well as more than 260 people injured by the blasts. At the conclusion of the sermon, a small group who attended the services walked from Marsh Chapel to the last mile of the marathon route to cheer on participants. Hill related Boston’s resilience after the terrorist attack to the city’s history of strength by including a reading of the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He also made reference to the leadership of Abraham Lincoln as an example for the Boston community to find strength in as it moves forward. “We want to remember his courage and wisdom, with malice for none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right,” Hill said. “Let us press on.” More than 20 people attended the service, which is typically held every Marathon Monday in Hill’s home. Hill said the service was
moved to Marsh Chapel in light of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. “This week we’ve had several moments of memory and honor for those who were lost last year,” he said. “Today, as is our custom, we wanted to provide a setting for fellowship, a moment of devotion, prayer and honoring for 30 minutes.” Hill said the service aimed to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity among the Boston community. “Our services at Marsh Chapel are open to and are meant for all,” he said. “They are all interdenominational and increasingly even inter-religious.” BU students who attended the sermon said it provided them with a sense of optimism for the future and allowed them to honor those lost in last year’s tragedy. “Their names were called to mind, the events were called to mind, in a way that was
very respectful,” said College of Fine Arts senior Robert Lucchesi. “This was very rooted in a loving remembrance of them.” Lucchesi said he considered the service a good way to begin Marathon Monday by rooting him in his place in the Boston community. “Year after year things get remembered less, which is why events like this are important — so that we do remember, so that we don’t forget the people who were affected,” he said. Jayhee An, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior, said the service demonstrated the tight-knit nature of the Boston community. “Each and every one of us was affected, even if we weren’t there personally,” she said. “It’s good to keep in mind that this did happen. We can’t reverse the past, so we just have to
Marsh, see page 7
Inside this issue: BU community members run for Lu Lingzi, p.3 | Images from the Marathon, p. 4-5 | Perspectives on the Marathon, p. 6 | One Fund continues to receive donations, p. 7 | BU student, bombing victim runs 2014 Marathon, p.8
Tuesday, april 22, 2014
Spectators from across US join BU students in Kenmore to celebrate celebRation: From Page 1
cheering in excitement from behind. In Kenmore Square, where many Boston University students gathered to watch the marathon runners speed by only hundreds of feet from campus, spectators wore Boston Strong shirts and waved American flags. With a Boston Red Sox game occurring simultaneously, hundreds of fans migrated between Fenway Park and the marathon route. Christine Marino, 22, of Quincy, was a medical volunteer at the finish line of last year’s Marathon. She decided to attend the Red Sox game this year instead, but she wanted to cheer on the runners and show her support before walking to Fenway Park. “I’m not afraid and that [last year] doesn’t keep me from volunteering,” she said. “The Marathon is both emotional and fun for me, especially this year. All the people here cheering [show] the unity within the city. Runners come from other cities, and people come to support each other.” Ken Johnson, 24, of Cambridge, works in the Kenmore Square area and said he was happy to see the amount of people who chose to par-
ticipate in the Marathon this year. Johnson, who grew up in the Boston area and spent last year’s Marathon a few blocks from the finish line, said the confusion experienced at the site of the bombings was nothing like he had ever seen before. “This year is going well, is put together and is less crazy,” he said. “[The Marathon] is very Boston, and it’s part of the city.” Many students from colleges and universities all over the city chose to gather near BU’s South Campus, where Marathon participants run through Brookline on their way to the heart of Boston. Several students said they chose to watch the Marathon from this location because it felt safer than the congested crowds of the finish line. Trevor Hiler, 20, of Sudbury, is a student at University of New Hampshire, who attended the Boston Marathon for the first time this year. He said the experience was even better than he expected, and the large police presence was a comfort to him. “After everything that happened last year, I wanted to be here, not only with my girlfriend but with all of her friends and with everyone celebrating,” he said. “I knew that as exciting as everything had been
last year, this year would be even better. Boston is a city with a point to prove, and this year, we want to do that.” Nick Eliades, 24, of Back Bay, said he appreciates the increased security at the Marathon, but he still does not feel entirely safe. Rather than cheering on the runners from Heartbreak Hill, where he used to go as an undergraduate at Boston College, he chose to cheer the runners on from a location closer to his home. “This year is crazier because people are more grouped together with all the increased security, and also just because people want to celebrate the fact that we are all able to be together again after everything that happened last year. People are intent on showing that we are strong enough to overcome it and strong enough to keep going.” Meanwhile, several miles away, spectators were packed arm-to-arm on Boylston Street, cheering for everyone, from family members to strangers, as runners approached the finish line outside the Boston Public Library. Joan Haugen, 48, of Southborough, stood about a block from the finish line with her 14-year-old
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daughter and two 11-year-old sons. Cheering for her husband, who was completing his second Boston Marathon, she said she was overwhelmed with a diverse intensity of emotions. “Everything from nervousness, excitement, anticipation.” she said. “... Most of all, what I feel is pride and just a love for the city of Boston. This just shows what we can overcome. I’m just so proud to call this our home.” Haugen moved to Boston with her husband 18 years ago. They moved to the Midwest for five years after having their children, but ultimately, they decided to move back to Massachusetts. “There’s just something about it [the city] that gets under your skin and just feels like this is where we belong,” she said. “I just can’t escape from it.” Bridget Bartlett, 25, of New York City, cheered with family and friends next to the Lenox Hotel, approximately a block from the finish line, for her brother and nephew, both running in the Marathon. Bartlett’s brother Peter, who finished with a time of 2:26:59, only 18 minutes after first-place Meb Keflezighi, was not planning on run-
ning any more marathons but wanted to be a part of this year’s Boston Marathon. “It was very important for him to come run Boston, in light of the tragedy but also for all the hope and community here,” she said. “[He ran] just to have the solidarity and to have the support for something that we believe in so strongly and to fill this spot with pride and love against the backdrop of last year.” Steven King, 44, of Spanish Fork, Utah, first ran in the Boston Marathon 10 years ago and returned this year to honor those lost in the bombings. As he approached the finish line, he found his wife, standing in a crowd of people by Lord & Taylor, and he ran over to give her a kiss before finishing the race. “We [my wife and I] came out for five days, and it’s been like no other marathon we’ve participated in,” he said. “The only reason I came this year is because of last year. It’s the first time running not just for yourself, but for Boston.” Mina Corpuz, Stephanie Pagones and Kelsey Newell contributed to the reporting of this story.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Lu Lingzi marathoners achieve ‘dream’
By Taryn Ottaunick and Jaime Bennis Daily Free Press Staff
lthough Boston University graduate student Lu Lingzi was not present for the 2014 Boston Marathon, runners commemorated her spirit by participating in her honor. Seven BU affiliates were selected to run in the name of Lu, who died in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The Lu family was awarded 15 spots in the 2014 Marathon by the Boston Athletic Association, and the Lu family designated seven of the positions to BU affiliates. Each person was chosen by a body of officials from organizations such as BU’s Student Government, the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Students Office. “We should all be honored, as a community, that the family so graciously thought of us to represent Lingzi in the marathon,” said Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore. “They could have done this in so many other ways, and they decided to make slots available to this community. This is a showing of a love and this is the epitome of high grace that they would come to us and make this offer.” While Shuheng Lin, a fifth-year graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, did not know Lu personally, she said the passionate life she lived inspires her each day. She said she respects Lu for teaching at primary schools back in China. “Lingzi was the joy to her family and possessed so many qualities I admire,” Lin said. “She was a talented musician who carried herself with grace and was very confident about what she wanted to achieve in life at an early age. I recently had the chance to read some of her journal entries, and through them I saw a talented writer who had a lot of heart and passion.” Lin, who finished with a time of 4:56:20, said she ran to help provide closure to Lu’s parents in the wake of the tragic loss of their daughter. “I look forward to seeing Lingzi’s parents at the finish line and giving them the biggest bear hugs,” Lin said prior to the race. “It’s not going to be easy for them on that day, but I am really hoping that her parents find some closure in the fact that moments before terror struck, Lingzi was surrounded by the most cheerful and positive crowd.” College of Arts and Sciences Physics professor Andrew Duffy, a long-time participant in the Boston Marathon, said the
SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jennifer Carter-Battaglino (left), 2003 graduate of the School of Education, and graduate student Baiyun Yao (right) were two of seven runners chosen from the Boston University community to run in honor of Lu Lingzi, who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings last April.
annual tradition has shaped his life. “It took me three tries to qualify for Boston,” Duffy said. “During my first Boston Marathon in 1995, I met Anne, the woman who would become my wife, who was also running. That led to me later that year getting a job at BU and moving to Boston. So, the Boston Marathon literally changed the course of my life. I’ve run it four times, volunteered a few times, been a spectator quite a few times.” This year, Duffy ran in the memory of Lu, whose spirit he said he hoped to keep alive during the Marathon. Duffy completed the race in 4:05:17. “In running for Lingzi, the seven of us have intertwined our life stories with Lingzi’s, and we now have the privilege and responsibility of helping to keep her spirit alive,” he said. “That’s the most important thing.” Kilachand Residences Area Director Jennifer Carter-Battaglino had originally planned on coaching the selected running team, but she was surprised to find herself among the chosen runners. “When the Lu Lingzi family provided numbers to BU, I offered to coach anyone who received a number, and I also applied for a number as well,” she said. “I was super excited when I found out that I actu-
ally got one.” Running this marathon for both Lu and BU makes the 2014 Boston Marathon that much more meaningful, Carter-Battaglino, who finished with a time of 4:10:48, said. “In her memory, having the honor of representing her and having the honor of representing her and her family has made this year running in this marathon more special than running in the past,” she said before the race. “It is extra special to represent Lingzi and BU. My goal is to be out there with everyone else and run strong and stand strong with everyone and to repent Lingzi and keep her memory alive.” Selected runner Dan Mercurio, director of marketing and strategic planning for BU Athletics, said meeting Lu’s family solidified his motivation or running in Lingzi’s name. “All seven of us got a chance to meet her parents when I was at dinner with her family, and we got a chance to learn more about her, which was really inspiring,” he said. “Just the strength to be studying abroad where English wasn’t her first language, we could clearly see why she was incredible as she was when we were talking with her family.” Although the team only had a short training period, support from the BU com-
munity has pushed them to try their hardest to finish, Mercurio, who completed the race in 4:01:46, said. “It’s been tough because of the weather,” he said. “This year was awful, a lot of snow, a lot of ice and a lot of cold winter … I’m not an elite runner — none of us are — so to finish would be a big thing. The BU community has already banded together to support us ... We are not going to let these kind of acts affect the way we live, and we are going to unite to push on.” Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences alumnus Ryan Shea, who graduated in 2011, said he was honored to run the marathon to celebrate Lu and represent the BU community. Shea completed the race in 4:39:21. “I did not know Lu Lingzi … but one way she inspired me is her ability to come all the way from China to attend a school like BU,” Shea said. “I can’t imagine leaving my family and country, and I believe it takes a strong person to do that. It is inspiring to run for Lingzi, especially as part of the BU team, because I feel connected to each and every person who attends BU. We are a family, and it’s great to be able to run for her family in her memory.” CAS and School of Management junior Yujue Wang (5:03:04) and School of Public Health fourth-year graduate student Baiyun Yao (4:14:34) were also members of the BU team running for Lu Lingzi. Elmore said by participating in the Boston Marathon under Lu’s name, the seven runners are living pieces of Lu’s memory. “They honor her by participating,” he said. “They will be wearing a special jersey that has been made for them, and the world will see them out there running on her behalf. The jerseys will say ‘dream’ on them in Chinese and also in English.” While fun was still had at the 2014 Boston Marathon, Elmore said he hopes members of the BU community would take a moment to remember those who, like Lu, were lost in the tragedy. “I hope that everyone has all of the fun that they can have, I just hope that they pause just for a minute ... to reflect about love, about life, about dreams and about the fact that we lost a member of our community last year,” Elmore said. “Pause for a moment, but have all of the fun you can possibly have.”
BU father, daughter duo return to Marathon to fundraise for cancer research
By Heather Goldin Daily Free Press Staff
oston University student Maria Stavros returned to racing with her father for the 2014 Boston Marathon to continue the race they were unable to finish after the bombs exploded at the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013. “I actually thought to run again before the bombing even happened,” Stavros, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior, said. “When we were running and the race first started, I was just having so much fun. I could see myself doing it again the next year. After the bombings occurred, and I realized everything that had happened, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be running it again.” During last year’s Marathon, Stavros and her father were forced to leave the course after the bombs went off, although both remained unharmed by the explosion. “We were at about mile 24 when we first heard word that something that happened,” she said. “…We were able to keep running just past Kenmore Square when
we were told that we couldn’t go any further toward the finish line … The police officers told us that we couldn’t keep going, but they didn’t tell us what had happened or why the race was over … It wasn’t until later on that I realized how bad the situation was.” Stavros said when she and her father were unable to finish the race, she was struck with a whirlwind of emotions. “I was confused about what had happened,” she said. “I was angry that I couldn’t cross the finish line being that close. … As time progressed, I was mad that someone would do such a terrible thing to the city where I grew up.” Stavros’ father George Stavros, a professor at BU’s School of Theology, said it is important for his daughter and him to run again this year as proud Bostonians. “The two of us are in it together, but for me it’s important to finish it,” he said. “Even thought neither my wife nor I are from Boston, we’ve been here over 25 years now, and we feel like Bostonians. Something about running last year and having the chance to run this year solidi-
fies that we’re part of this.” The team ran as sponsors for the DanaFarber Cancer Institute of Boston. DanaFarber spokeswoman Cathleen Genova said the Dana-Farber team hopes to raise funds for cancer research. “We have over 700 runners here on the team, and they all are raising money for early cancer research at Dana-Farber,” she said. “The team’s goal for this year is to raise $5.3 million. We’re very lucky to have so many people who are passionate about supporting Dana-Farber.” Between the two, Maria and George raised more than $10,000 for Dana-Farber last year and said they hoped to raise $10,000 again this year. Knowing people who have been affected by cancer, Maria said she was honored to run for an institution that works so diligently to find a cure. “I’ve known a few people to go through treatment at the Dana-Farber, and they are such a great organization,” she said. “They really put such huge efforts into cancer research and finding a cure of cancer, which I feel is such an important
thing in so many people’s lives. Running for cancer in general was something that I wanted to do. My aunt is a breast cancer survivor. She was my original inspiration to find a team to run for cancer.” Supporting the running team was Stavros’ sister, SAR senior Julianna Stavros, who said for her father and sister, running this year’s marathon will give them the closure they need from last year’s tragedy. “This is what they needed to do,” she said. “They were obviously disappointed that they didn’t get to finish. It was kind of no question that they were going to run it again so that they could finish the race this time.” Maria said her and her father’s persistence in finishing the race resembles the tenacious spirit of the city of Boston. “If you talk to anyone who’s from Boston, they have such pride and love for the city,” she said. “What happened last year was a personal attack on the city, and I think everyone who lived here felt it on a whole other level … It’s such a great day, and it’s a day that comes with a lot of pride and acceptance.”
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Competitors, spectators cheer accomplishments,
Katherine McGuirk, of Brookline
SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Women’s champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya won her second consecutive Boston Marathon and finished the course in a record time of two hours, 18 minutes and 57 seconds.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Spectators grew louder as Meb Keflezighi of San Diego, approached the marathon finish line. Keflezighi was the first American winner of the men’s race since 1983.
MIKE DESOCIO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
A total of 62 wheelchair racers participated in the 2014 Boston Marathon and 98 percent of them finished the course.
ANN SINGER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Runners were greeted by cheering crowds as they rounded the corner of Hereford Street and approached the finish line.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Thor Kirleis of North Reading and Jason Newton of North Andover celebrated after completing the course Monday afternoon.
ANN SINGER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Volunteers stood at checkpoints along the course of the Marathon and handed runners cups of water.
KATHRYN NEUHARDT/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Spectators cheered on runners on Beacon Street.
ATHANASIOS KASTRITIS/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
A father and his daughter stand along the sidelines of the marathon route to watch runners passing by Kenmore Square.
ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Charaighn Sesock, of Visalia, Calif., gave high-fives to spectators as she approached Kenmore Square.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
celebrate resilience of Boston at 2014 Marathon
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
In order to accomodate many of the 5,600 runners who could not complete the 2013 race because of the bomings, this yearâ€™s Marathon included around 36,000 runners compared to the usual 27,000.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Volunteers handed out fruit, granola bars, protein drinks and water after runners completed the course.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
After completing the course, runners sat down on the sidewalk to rest their feet.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Tired runners took to the sidewalks to rest after completing the marathon course.
MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Spectators cheered on runners like Mathieu Girard of Quebec City as they approached the finish line.
JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Runners reunited with friends and loved ones at designated family meeting areas grouped alphabetically. SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Volunteers handed out medals to runners shortly after completing the course.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The Daily Free Press
The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University 44th year F Volume 86 F Issue 48
Sarah Kirkpatrick, Editor-in-Chief Brian Latimer, Managing Editor
Rachel Riley, Campus Editor
Alice Bazerghi, City Editor
Andrew Battifarano, Sports Editor
Trisha Thadani, Opinion Editor
Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor
Maya Devereaux, Photo Editor
Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Features Editor
Emily Hartwell, Layout Editor
On rejoining the Boston community kate hofberg morale that was about to be my peers. But I wasn’t the only one who was inspired by the strength and heroism that the people of Boston were radiating on to the world. In the days that followed the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing, something exceptional happened. A jolt of support for Boston was felt internationally via the news, the Internet and social media. From our Buzzfeed apps on our smartphones and our CNN anchors on our flat screens we were learning about the random acts of kindness that people all around the city were contributing to their community peers. People were opening up their homes to displaced people affected by the bombs. One restaurant was advertising free food, bathrooms and electricity. Heroes weren’t just defined by men in uniform, but also by strangers standing next to you. And people were asking me if I was scared to move to Boston? No way. I knew I was moving to a city that would take care of me, even in the darkest of times. It’s now been a full year since the bombing and another Marathon has been run, and I must say, the strength that many people found so admirable about Boston in a time of crisis, has not faded. What I thought might be a somber week was one that was actually filled with fun and excitement. It was a warm, sunny and excited week as we welcomed the runners of the marathon and their families. This year, it was exciting to see my friends, my classmates and the people of Boston bubble with excitement, pride and optimism about the Marathon. It’s hard to ignore some of the great things that have come from disaster. A couple of friends of mine, who don’t happen to be the best runners, rode the bike version of the Marathon. Seeing pictures of them at the finish line made me so proud because riding the bike version of the marathon was a way that they could honor the legacy of the bombing victims in a way that was more fun for them, and their big smiles in the pictures told me that the long ride was worth every pedal. I’ve got to say, there’s something in the marathon air that’s got me feeling inspired. Again.
zooming past. I went so fast that pedaling would not make me go any faster. Pushing down on the pedals couldn’t give me any more momentum as I skyrocketed ahead of our group. The wind pushed against me as I persisted downhill, telling me to slow down and that the next 10 miles of the would happen eventually. I still pushed as hard as I could. After experiencing the horror of the Boston Marathon, I could not let myself slow down. One year ago, I saw the carnage of the Boston Marathon bombings with one of the closest friends I will ever have. We rushed to the blast, ready to report on what happened, and saw more blood on the street than anyone should see. We saw paramedics performing CPR, we saw limbs and we saw the sheer pain the marathon bombings cased. That is why I decided to bike the marathon route. We powered past Boston College, gleefully shouting profanity like the freshman we once were. We sailed through Beacon Hill, careened through Coolidge Corner then came to a screeching halt at Boylston Street at 10 p.m. We had to dismount our bicycles right where we stood when the bombs went off. We take the credit for being the first team to finish the 2014 Boston Marathon, even though we got lost several times. Over 40 miles of cycling led to the moment of catharsis I have needed since April 15, 2013. Passing over that finish line meant more than just closure; it reminded me why I chose to attend Boston University. It gave me a reason to try to stop running away from this city. I left my pain at the Finish Line and embraced my friends.
When the bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, I watched in horror from two small televisions that were mounted in the bar of the restaurant I was working at in Santa Barbara, Calif. Even though I was 3,000 miles away, the bang of the bombs, that killed three and injured hundreds, left me feeling as shaken as if I had been at the finish line myself. I had just been in Boston a few days before the marathon to confirm my acceptance into Boston University as a graduate student in the College of Communication. On my quick trip to the city, in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon, it was sunny and warm. Gentle breezes blew at my back and through the blossoming cherry trees that lined the streets of Back Bay. Crowds of people packed into the Public Garden and Boston Common. Over at Copley, I watched the city prepare for the Marathon with the construction of bleacher seats and the hanging of banners. Having briefly lived in Boston before, I was enjoying walking around and reacquainting myself with the city that I was planning on moving to that fall. So as I was watching the devastating news about the explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line, I felt like I was watching destruction happen to my own streets and in my own neighborhoods. I was sad, angry, confused, worried but still, it might sound a little crazy, the disaster only made me want to move to Boston sooner. Being in California felt too distant for me to properly mourn for the East Coast city. In the days following the bombing and the arrest of the Tsarnaev brothers, people would ask me if I was afraid to move to a city for school that had suffered such a violent tragedy. I was anything but fearful. If anything, I was more inspired to return to the city and become part of the community that people all over the world were recognizing as “Boston Strong.” I was proud to call myself a Californian who was moving to Boston to start her life as a journalism student at a school that was gaining distinguished recognition for their coverage of the bombing. I wanted to jump on a plane to Boston as soon as I could and begin my studies at Boston University and spend all my time learning and absorbing and experiencing and contributing to the rebuilding of the student
Brian Latimer is Managing Editor of the Daily Free Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The opinions and ideas expressed by columnists and cartoonists are their own and are not necessarily representative of the opinions of The Daily Free Press.
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A marathon cycling victory
Three friends and I decided to bike the course of the Boston Marathon. We left early Sunday so that we could explore Massachusetts. For whatever reason, we all felt responsible to experience the course. We began by cycling over the finish line at Copley. As we passed by the rebuilt storefronts, I saw memories of pain I wish I could not resurrect. I gripped the handlebars, supporting my weight on two wheels. The images of last year pounded through my head, playing with the peaceful reality we walked through. Having a bicycle made it easy to get away from the memories. From there, we stormed the state. We took the commuter rail to Southborough before noon then found our way into the Hopkinton State Park. We rode through trails, climbed over fell trees and played music by the reservoir. Our bikes brought us to the Southborough House of Pizza, which was disappointingly closed, then over many miles toward the starting line. Around 6 p.m., while standing in the shoulder of Massachusetts 9, we decided to head back to Boston. After more than 10 miles of cycling around, beginning at the starting line in Hopkinton would have eaten more daylight. Also, we have about 25 miles to cover, and doubling back for another 4 with our huge backpacks and dim headlights seemed agonizing. As it got colder, we pushed through Framingham, passing the 6-Mile Marker. People walked in front of us at intersections, going about the rest of their holiday evenings. The sun was barely setting and people had no idea that the four of us were testing out the marathon route for Monday’s runners. On Route 30, the most dangerous part of the adventure, just a few miles from Newton, I pushed my bike to its limit. On the highest gear and on a paved road, I cycled as hard as I could, attempting to keep up with the cars
RANTS AND raves
Kate Hofberg is a graduate student in the College of Communication. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A year in reflection after reporting the bombings
A year ago I got a text from my editor from The Daily Free Press that read, “Two bombs went off at the Marathon finish line. Can you check it out?” I had no idea what he was talking about. I gathered my recorder, phone and wallet and raced to Copley Square. I got as close to the finish line as I could before getting turned away by police. “Now what do I do,” I thought. Little did I know that 2:49 p.m. on Patriots’ Day last year would change my life. Not only did I grow up as a journalist covering the story as it unfolded over several months, but I also grew as a person. I was just a freshman finding my way through college, figuring out my interests and aspirations. Hell, I’m still doing that. But now, because of the bombings, I am more confident in my reporting and in myself. However, this whole experience isn’t just about me, as it has everything to do with my peers at The FreeP and, even more, those affected by the bombings. We at The FreeP really became a news team the week following the Marathon, with reporters and photographers dedicating extra time and energy to attending press conferences, memorials and court proceedings. At
major media events, The FreeP was accepted as a legitimate news source, not just as a student publication. During that week, several news agencies called us for information and we were recognized for our knowledge of new developments in the case. However, during my time spent covering the story, I completely forgot to reflect and really understand the significance of what exactly happened. As a journalist, we are taught to be objective and remove ourselves from the story. I followed this principle and reported the facts of what happened for months after the bombings, without any emotional attachment. Recently, with the anniversary approaching, I was no longer involved in the coverage at The FreeP and, for the first time, was able to completely immerse myself in the feelings and emotions of the situation. I’m not one for the #BostonStrong trend, but I have never seen a city come together like Boston did. The memorial that was held for the victims on April 15 helped me see the larger picture and understand why I do what I do. The day of the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary started as overcast and rainy, as if Mother Nature was reflecting the mood of
that day. I hopped on the T headed to work, already dreading the emotional Facebook statuses and tweets from my peers who it seemed only posted them for the “likes” or “favorites.” I started my workday reading the two-part series by Boston Globe journalist David Abel, “For Richard family, loss and love.” An hour later, I sat at my desk in silence, nearly in tears by the end of it. I know Abel is a remarkable reporter and his writing style is beautiful, but this was the first time that I actually contemplated Martin Richard’s family and everything they have gone through in the past year. I thought I knew everything there was about the Marathon bombings but, while trying to remain objective in my reporting, I had overlooked the human emotions that came along with this tragedy. After reading the articles, as the memorial started later that day, I knew I would react strongly to the touching words shared by the speakers. Patrick Downes, a survivor of the bombings, gave a moving speech that was short, sweet and full of sentiment. I started tearing up. When former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino hobbled on to the stage and spoke with clarity and pride for his city, I felt
a few tears trickle down my cheek. Once Renese King began singing the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked,” I lost it. That song has always been special to me and to hear it now, with several survivors, important city officials and the Richard family in the crowd, it finally hit me: the emotional toll that had been building up for the past year had to come out. I didn’t know what the mood would be like in Boston this Marathon Monday. But, after the city and I received its closure on the anniversary last week, Patriots’ Day was a day of celebration — something of which it has and always will be. Although it is impossible to forget about those affected by the bombings last year, I know this city will continue to be resilient. And, for this, I will always be grateful for my experience over the past year as a young journalist and will always keep in mind the lessons I learned, especially that of reflection, as I continue to grow and write in the city of Boston. Kyle Plantz was Fall 2013 City Editor of The Daily Free Press and will be Fall 2014 Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
One Fund donations continue to pour in following anniversary
By Kelsey Newell Daily Free Press Staff
hen two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino founded the One Fund for people all over the country to donate money to victims and the families of those affected by the marathon. Within the first two months, the One Fund collected $61 million in donations, all from private donors. The money was distributed to 232 families. One year later, those donations are continuing to come in strong, said Kenneth Feinberg, former administrator of One Fund. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was amazed at the charitable impulse of the American people. It is a symbol of ‘Boston Strong’... the president came to Boston after the bombings and said ‘there’s a little bit of Boston in all of us,’ [and] One Fund certainly demonstrates the truth of that statement.” Since the first distribution of donations, approximately $17 million was collected, Feinberg said. A spike in donations occurred recently due to the anniversary of the bombings. “Without One Fund, it would have been a lot more complicated for people from all around to help these victims they didn’t know,” said Tim Gleason, 47, of Dorchester. “It really streamlined the process, and it’s crazy how much people wanted to help
after the bombings.” Throughout the past year, One Fund has reached out to the victims of the marathon bombings to assess their needs. Responses have confirmed the need for another monetary distribution. One Fund announced in January that a second distribution of funds will take place in July. “The severity of the injuries suffered by so many last April is almost too much to comprehend, and we understand money alone cannot replace all that was lost,” said James Gallagher, president of One Fund, in a January release. “But the outpouring of love and overwhelming generosity and support from thousands of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations from all over the world helps offer hope for a brighter future.” One Fund has served as a model for several victim compensation organizations since its launch, but the donations seen with the One Fund are unprecedented by any other organization of a similar cause, Feinberg said. The funds following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech University each raised only $7 to 8 million. “Every once in a while, rare but occasionally, there is a tragedy that results in citizens voluntarily contributing funds, and since One Fund, there was a similar fund for the Fort Hood shootings [in 2009], and for the Washington Navy Yard [in 2013],” he said. “And it’s all private donation. [It’s] amazing, just amazing. Once the money is distributed to the victims, they can use it to their discretion without any strings, taxes
or legal requirements.” The leaders of the One Fund plan to continue assisting victims and their families through monetary donation for as long as help is needed, said Dot Joyce, spokesperson for the One Fund. “The One Fund will exist as long as it is effective,” she said. “This unprecedented showcase of generosity was a tremendous support, not only financially but also for the collective spirit of our city. This money is a gift. The people who receive it can use it for whatever they deem necessary. The One Fund [will continue] its mission of helping those most affected by the events of last year.” Puisang Leung, 32, of the South End, said the One Fund has helped to unify the city in the wake of tragedy, and she hopes the fund continues to serve a purpose for victims. “The bombings affected everyone in Boston because we never thought something like that would happen right here in our town,” he said. “It [the fund] doesn’t just help the victims recover, although it is great for so many people to care so much, but it also makes the city have much more of a sense of togetherness. That is something that will hopefully last forever.” Bain Capital was one of the largest donors to the One Fund in the primary collection in April 2013. Ernesto Anguilla, spokesperson for Bain Capital, said the company was eager to step forward after the bombings, and their employees are a driving force in ensuring that donations continue to pour in.
“As a major employer and contributor to civic life in Greater Boston, our employees very much wanted to support those most affected by the bombings in their recovery,” he said. “The partnership didn’t end there. In fact, today our employees are donating money from their own pockets to provide additional support to the One Fund in the run up to the marathon.” Several residents said they are supportive of One Fund and its continuing presence because it gives everyone an easy and efficient way to directly help the victims of the bombings. Lisa Greiner, 56, of Back Bay, said she hopes donations continue to stream in because the effects of the bombings on the victims will not end any time soon. “The people that really got hurt by the bombings, be it injured or losing a family member, will be facing hardships for years to come,” she said. “The kinds of injuries the bombings caused will cost a lot in medical fees, so any help we can give them to cover that is great ... they shouldn’t have to deal with that on their own.” Kathleen Young, 51, of Beacon Hill, said she is amazed by the amount of donations One Fund received but also thinks other tragedies should not be ignored. “It’s incredible how many people cared and donated to these people,” she said. “But I can’t help but feel sad that other tragedies aren’t getting the same treatment when, in many cases, even more people are being hurt. I just hope this sets a standard that will be met when other tragedies happen in the future.”
Ernst Van Dyke, Tatyana McFadden Students, Boston residents attend Marsh win men’s, women’s wheelchair race service, moved by stories of perseverence Records: From Page 1
with overwhelming honor, passion and joy,” Flanagan said in her biography on the BAA website. “Each step we take closer to the finish line is a victory in and of itself. It’s hard to express what it means to return this particular year to the place where I grew up and compete. In one word, I guess it would be ‘pride.’ I and many in the field will be fueled by those who were affected by the tragedy and will be running for those who cannot.” The 2014 marathon also provided opportunities for those with disabilities to participate through the Wheelchair and Handcycle Divisions. Ernst Van Dyke won the Men’s Wheelchair Division with a time of 1:20:36, and Tatyana McFadden won the Women’s Wheelchair Division, coming in at 1:35:06. For the Handcycle Division, Samuel Spencer took first place for the men with a time of 1:18:34, and Jessica A. Kensky, who lost her left leg in the bombings last year, won the Women’s Handcycle Divison with a time a 2:14:13. Spectators lined the streets from Hopkinton to Boylston Street, cheering for each and every runner, whether they knew them personally or not. Herb O’Haran, 59, from Ottawa, Canada, came to the marathon with his entire extended family to support his niece, Jenn Sullivan. “This is her first time running a marathon. She’s 25 and just had a baby,” he said. “We’re from Canada, and we have the whole family here supporting her. My brother and his wife are here with me, and we have other groups stationed along the route, and we have more people back at the hotel taking care of the babies.” O’Haran’s family has a long history of running marathons, but he said the Boston
Marathon has always been a family favorite. “My brother has actually run countless marathons, so many his knee is blown out,” he said. “The Boston Marathon was always his highest ambition. He and my older sister have actually both ran the Boston Marathon.” Susan Mandeville, 64, of Lynnfield, said she had several friends running in the marathon this year for a variety of causes, which serves as proof that the Boston Marathon is about much more than the race itself. “I’m here supporting my daughter’s brother-in-law Matt Harrington, who’s running it for the Red Cross, and my friend Mike McGordy, who’s running it for the Children’s Hospital,” she said. “This is my sixth time watching it. It’s amazing to see the strength and sense of the community in the crowd. I’m also so incredibly excited that an American man won today, it’s poetic after what happened last year.” Martha Comment, 69, from Kansas City, Miss., attended the marathon with her grandson to cheer on her daughter. “This is her ninth Boston Marathon, and she has run 30-something other marathons,” she said. “Her best time so far is 3:11, but she just had a baby a few months ago, so she’s aiming to do it in about three and a half hours.” Comment said her daughter is driven by the unique spirit of Boston and the way people come from around the country to support the Boston Marathon. “[My daughter] lived in Boston for about five years and really loved it,” she said. “She ran it last year also, but luckily finished about 30 minutes before the bombings ... We both thought it was important for her to run it again this year. I love the energy, the people and all the activity. It’s Boston Strong, but it’s also just U.S.A. strong.”
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Marsh: From Page 1
keep in mind these people that we did lose.” An said the 2013 Marathon bombings reminded her of the importance of staying connected to those she cares about. “These events can occur at any time, so we should always be strong and prepared,” she said. “We should take this sort of situation as an example to keep close with loved ones, friends and family.” Carson Dockum attended the service with his wife, a chaplain at Marsh Chapel. Dockum, 25, of Brighton, said though the Boston community should not forget the 2013 Marathon bombings, it should allow itself to recover from the tragedy. “It had such a huge impact on the city, on the chapel, on the families involved, on so many aspects and it’s important to recall that and move from that into a hopeful remembrance,” he said. “A season of grief is extremely important and needed, but now a year later, it’s important to reclaim it [the marathon] as a moment of hope and moving forward, with those who passed away in mind.” Dockum said although the sermon was a powerful start to Marathon Monday, the atmosphere at the race itself was just as moving. “The fact that we have 36,000 runners and almost a million people showing up to watch
the race, coming from all over the place, is a sign that we’re coming together,” he said. “There is excitement and anxiety at the same time, a little bit of fear and a little bit of hope in the same breath.” Service attendee and CFA freshman Hayley Miller, who will run her first marathon next month, said tying the sermon to aspects of American history was successful in highlighting the resilience of the Boston community. “It brought a sense of national unity to the sermon and a strong aspect of Boston history,” she said Miller said she was inspired by the perseverance shown by those running in the 2014 Boston Marathon. “It requires motivation to run a marathon, but for runners to come back from last year and finish what they left behind shows even greater strength,” she said. Kimberly Lund, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said the city of Boston has made a strong recovery from the 2013 Marathon bombings. “We’re showing that we could overcome what happened,” she said. “I’m seeing so many people wearing Boston Marathon jackets from 2013 that felt strong enough to come back and just overall show that we’re a strong city and we’re a strong community.”
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
BU student goes from survivor to marathoner By Tim Healey Daily Free Press Staff
t’s April 15, and Kellie Marshall is doing everything in her power to treat it as any other day. She goes to the Driscoll School in Brookline to student-teach, then hustles back to campus for class and eventually gets to eat dinner and relax. All the while, though, there are reminders. Everywhere. The news clips, the Facebook statuses, the “Boston Strong” paraphernalia, the incessant questions from people who mean well — How is she holding up? What is it like one year later? One of the only moments a radio is within earshot happens to be 2:49 p.m., the moment of silence. Marshall can’t escape it: A year ago today, she almost died. She survived a terrorist attack, plucked shrapnel from her legs, and wandered up Commonwealth Avenue with family and friends, bloodied and confused and scared and scarred. Two disillusioned brothers allegedly triggered twin explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260. Standing just feet away from the second explosion, Marshall was lucky to escape with her life and limbs intact. Marshall was one of the 260, not one of the three, and for that she is grateful. Monday, the 22-year-old Boston University senior became one of the approximately 36,000 to stand at the Hopkinton starting line to begin her nearly five-hour trek known as the 118th Boston Marathon. By the end of the 26.2 miles, Marshall was limping and in pain again — the limp a welcomed limp, the pain a happy, victorious pain. But on the 15th, the anniversary, it’s hard to think about anything else. And in at least one way today is just like so many before it. “I haven’t gone a day since then,” Marshall said, “without thinking about it.” *** Marshall is upfront when it comes to how she became a victim of circumstance on Boylston Street that picturesque Boston spring day last April. She was freshly 21, and — wanting to avoid the hubbub of
Kenmore Square — she joined her cousins, Dan and Jacqueline, and their significant others at Atlantic Fish Co. She was standing on top of the short fence in front of the restaurant when the first bomb went off about a block to her left. Was it a celebratory cannon? Fireworks? The violent noise was incongruous with the environment. The second boom came before anyone had time to fully comprehend the first. The force of the explosion — about six feet away, in Marshall’s estimation — hurled her back about 10 feet to the wall dividing Atlantic Fish’s outside patio and dining room. The blast knocked Marshall unconscious, ruptured her right eardrum, sunk glass-like pieces of shrapnel into her legs and left her concussed. She doesn’t remember the actual explosion. She does remember the moments before — “when everyone was happy” — and the horror that ensued. “It’s crazy to think of how quickly that changed,” Marshall said. Someone — she never found out who — carried her inside the restaurant, where she found Jacqueline. Dan was still outside tending to Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed by the bomb. “No one knew what happened, they just knew something happened,” Marshall said. “I called my dad and I was freaking out, and I was like, ‘Dad, a [expletive] bomb just went off.’ He was like, ‘OK, calm down.’” Added Peter Marshall, Kellie’s father: “[Dan’s now-fiancé] Lauren grabbed the phone and said, ‘Pete, we’re OK. But there’s been two explosions. We don’t know what’s going on. We can’t find Dan.’ … Then the phones went dead.” Physically, everyone was ultimately fine. The fivesome reunited and wanted to get away, far away, from the chaos. They made their way to Comm. Ave. and then toward Kellie’s Student Village 2 dorm. “And we still didn’t know what happened. We were just walking,” Kellie said. “At that point, we all had blood all over us. “Dan didn’t have a shirt. It was on Mar-
tin.” That week, as Boston stood on edge — pausing at the sound of a siren while wondering what the new normal would be and when it would come — Kellie was at home, in Danvers, recovering. The memories are hazy. *** Over the summer, Kellie became one of the many to benefit from the assistance of One Fund Boston, and come fall that included an offer to run the 2014 Marathon. It didn’t take long for her to decide to give it a go. “It’s something that’s always been on my bucket list. Why not now?” she said. “Just thinking about all of the people who can’t is motivating.” Running, though, isn’t exactly how Kellie was used to spending her free time. She was a three-sport athlete at the Pingree School in South Hamilton — a prep school about 40 minutes north of Boston — and excelled at hockey and softball in particular. When she enrolled in the School of Education at BU, her sights set on becoming a special education teacher, the extent of her athletic involvement was being a manager for the Terriers’ men’s hockey team. So for a long time, the prospect of a marathon wasn’t a very enticing one. Legend says, after all, the first guy to run one dropped dead shortly thereafter. “I never thought that I could run three miles, let alone a marathon,” Kellie said with a laugh. Kellie wasn’t short on sources of motivation, however. The lasting psychological effects from last April reminded her constantly of what she was running for. Part of the Marathon route in Brookline is visible from the playground at the school she works at. She grew to dislike crowds and loud noises. Little kids in Red Sox hats, like the ones she teaches at school, remind her of Martin Richard. In the weeks leading up to the Marathon, the flashbacks — and she did have flashbacks — featured Richard. “A lot of it too I’m sure is not having
my family here with me,” she said. “Sometimes if I’m feeling overwhelmed thinking about it, or I see it on the news, it kind of takes me back to the initial moments when it happened and I couldn’t find any of them. It’s hard being away from them.” Peter noted that while Kellie has overcome quite a bit in the last year, one of her most prominent characteristics — her determination — is the same as ever. This year it manifested itself in a way that allowed her to run farther than she ever though she would. “She’s the same old Kellie,” Peter said. *** It’s April 21, and Kellie Marshall isn’t going to pretend it’s a normal day. She completed the race in 4 hours and 44 minutes, beating her goal of sub-5 hours. She found her cousin Dan, who ran for Team MR8, the group running to honor Martin Richard, near Kenmore Square. She stopped to hug family and friends on Boylston Street. She then embraced Larry Venis, BU’s head athletic trainer and a longtime volunteer who was at the finish line just as Kellie had hoped. Peter was just beyond the finish line where the families of the runners were made to wait. “I cried so much,” Kellie said Monday night, decked out in her blue and orange Marathon garb, the gold medal hanging around her neck. “I think it will mean more tomorrow when I’m not — I’m in a lot of pain right now,” she continued, exhausted but smiling. “It was the most amazing thing, to cross the finish line. “When I hit Atlantic Fish, I just sprinted. I’ve never run so fast in my life.” With that last spurt of energy, she changed from Kellie Marshall, bombing survivor, to Kellie Marshall, Boston Marathoner. “Her running the Marathon has really put closure to it,” Peter said. “She’s put it behind her.”
BU alumna uses photography to help heal after bombings
By Stephanie Pagones Daily Free Press Staff
he 2013 Boston Marathon began as a day for celebration and accomplishment but is remembered in the eyes of many as a day of shock, grief and sadness. One year later, Ryan McMahon said the Boston Marathon bombings served as the catalyst that led her to rethink the course of her life. A Longmeadow native who graduated from the Arts Administration program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College in 2011, 34-year-old McMahon had been sitting on the bleachers with two friends when she witnessed the first explosion. While trying to get down from the bleachers and leave the area, the second explosion went off, throwing her friends and her to the ground. “We knew something was wrong, and we had to get out of there,” she said. “Once I figured out I could get up, and all my friends were up, we started running up Exeter Street. I knew at that point I had broken my arms. My back hurt, but I was hoping there wasn’t an issue.” McMahon had been attending the Boston Marathon for years with friends and family, often by Temple Street and Heartbreak Hill. When she worked as an official staff photographer for the mayor’s office from August 2005 to July 2009, she shot photographs from the finish line of the marathon. Last year, McMahon had the day off from work and decided to attend
the marathon with a few friends. McMahon was one of the first victims to arrive at Boston Medical Center, where she stayed until her release almost a week later. She said the time she spent in the hospital opened her eyes to the extent of the day’s damage. “[At first], we were trying to take cover somewhere,” she said. “I got ahold of my mom and she told us we needed to go to the hospital. It seemed like we got there before the others. They put me in the emergency room, and then people started coming in, and I realized how bad it was. At the scene we saw smoke, but we hadn’t seen all the people who had been injured.” Told by doctors that her recovery would take six to 12 months, McMahon moved in with her grandmother to begin the process of recovery. During that time, she focused her attention on documenting her healing through video diaries. “With a back brace and two broken wrists, it was hard to do most things on my own,” she said. “The support was really amazing, and that’s why I started documenting things using my tripod, my camera and my computer in my room to do video diary entries. I wanted to capture my grandma taking care of me and observe the healing process of my body to help me deal with the physical and emotional trauma.” Three months after the marathon, McMahon was capable of living on her own again. Now, more than a year since the tragic event, McMahon is almost com-
pletely physically recovered, excluding physical therapy for her right wrist after complications. “I left my grandmother’s around July and moved back to my apartment,” she said. “I’m still doing physical therapy for my right wrist, but physical therapy for my back ended around December. I’ve been doing pilates and trying to strengthen my core.” McMahon said the recovery process gave her time to think about her life and consider her next steps. Ultimately, she decided to go back to school to further her photography education at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she is a student now. At a Friday art show called AWESOMEBLAHJ at the Piano Craft Guild, McMahon displayed several of her photos, a project completed through the School of the MFA. Robin Melendez, 34, of Natick, said she is a friend of McMahon’s who helped her recover and she was touched by the chance to experience her friend’s recovery through her artwork. “I was in her life when she was injured,” she said. “I was concerned for her safety and visited her in the hospital. She has a good perspective on recovering and the healing process and has shown resilience. It’s a good documentation of the ability to cope with such a traumatic event. It did help her greatly and will help her continue with her art. Michelle Casale, 24, of Malden, at-
tended the gallery and said McMahon’s artwork is a projection of her experiences at the marathon and her recovery process in the months since that day. “Her art is personal and intense,” she said. “It’s a bit confrontational because it’s so personal. You get a view of how she’s moving on. We [still] have to give her some time and space to think about what happened to her. It’s something that she has to deal with for the rest of her life.” McMahon said photography has played a key role in her emotional healing, and she is lucky to have had the support of family and friends through the process. “It’s been mostly art-making at the moment and, of course, spending time with family [that has gotten me through],” she said. “Shooting calms me down. I’ve been shooting about what recovery means.” While she did not attend the marathon this year, McMahon said hopes to attend the Boston Marathon again in future years, and she hopes to run it eventually. “I’ve been going back and forth about it, but I decided not to go,” she said. “Now I just want to be with my family. I think we’re going to go to the beach. I’ve done a lot this week participating, and I feel like I might need private time to be with my family and reflect on everything that’s happened this year.” Mina Corpuz contributed to the reporting of this article.
The Daily Free Press Boston Marathon edition