Apr 19

A Personal Account – The Boston Marathon: Grieving…And Looking Ahead

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We went to Boston to celebrate. To celebrate months of long runs, sore muscles and pure determination, culminating in my husband’s second running of the Boston Marathon, the 10-year anniversary of his first running of this storied and historic race.

What started as a joyful family vacation with my husband (Steve), our two sons and my husband’s parents, turned into something completely different as soon as the first bomb went off near the finish line at 2:50pm ET. And as we enter into the stages of “the aftermath”, we are left with a decision of how we define this experience, and how we let it define us.

The race:

The marathon day started like so many others have before this. My husband slipped out early to catch the bus to the starting line, clamboring aboard with fellow runners filled with nervous energy, munching on bagels and bananas, and sharing stories of qualifying races and previous Boston runs.

Steve’s parents and I packed up the camping chairs, snacks and cameras and rounded up the boys for the short walk to the finish line. The streets were abuzz with activity, as volunteers worked to fill post-run snack bags for the runners and set up last-minute staging for the recovery area. Many of them were up for hours before the sun rose that morning, but the energy level was high. This was the Boston Marathon after all, one of the oldest races in the world, and everything needed to be just right.

The Boston Marathon: Grieving...And Looking Ahead

Runners work for years to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon, many falling short by mere seconds or minutes. Those that were running had crashed through personal barriers and fought tooth and nail to “BQ” (Boston Qualify).

We walked just past the Crate & Barrel storefront (an important location later that day) and set up our chairs. As is tradition for our family, the boys pulled out a package of Crayola markers and set to work making “Go Daddy Go” posters for their favorite runner.


The hours ticked by and the streets started to fill in around us, spectators bustling to get the best view of the runners coming down the homestretch. In quick succession, we saw the first wheelchair athletes, and the winners of the men’s and women’s races fly by us with grace and speed. Understandably, the events of that day overshadowed the winners of the marathon this year, but I’d like to give acknowledgement to these amazing athletes.

This is not the winner, but one of the first finishers. The winner of the men’s race was Hiroyuki Yamamoto and the winner in the women’s wheelchair race was Tatyana McFadden.

Rita Jeptoo, winner of the women’s race

Lelisa Desisa, winner of the men’s race

And then it was time to wait for my husband. We knew from our tracking app that he was a little off his desired pace, and we anxiously waited to see him come down the stretch. And then there he was, with that stride that I can recognize from a quarter of a mile away. As he neared us, he was running strong, but I could see the grimace of pain run across his face.

As usual, I teared up as he ran by us. I know how many hours of work went into the run, and how deeply he wished for a stellar finish for himself and for us. How proud we were!


Despite leg cramps that started around mile 20, he flew across the finish line with a time of 2:49:55, placing him 808th out of nearly 27,500 runners.

My father-in-law headed off with the boys to meet Steve in the family area, while Steve’s mum and I settled in to wait for Cindy, my good friend and fellow Red Faced Runner (and amazing coach for my first marathon) to run by in the homestretch of her inaugural Boston Marathon. (You can read Cindy’s powerful account of that day at her blog, Kicking It In.)

And then there she was, legs strong and eyes focused towards the finish line. I cheered myself hoarse!


It was a time to celebrate.

We packed up our belongings and headed down Boylston Street, towards the finish line and our hotel.

The Moment It All Changed

As we walked past the country flags flying proudly to the side of the finish line, the cheers were deafening. Every part of the sidewalk was packed with mothers, fathers, children and friends shouting the names of their loved ones as the runners stepped across the blue and yellow finish line and on to eager volunteers ready to drape a medal around each of their necks.

We revelled in the euphoria of the scene, marveled at the runners who were staggering towards the cups of Gatorade lined up in endless rows on the tables, trying to hold off the inevitable leg cramps for just a few more minutes.

We were no more than a block past the finish line when we heard it. Or maybe we felt it.

A thunderous sound that shook the ground and caused us to suck in our collective breath.

We turned around to see an enormous grey cloud of smoke billow into the sky. Right beside the finish line. Right where we walked just a few minutes before.

Silence and confusion. And muttering. “What was that?” “It could have been a transformer blowing.” “Was that a cannon?”

And then came the second blast, further down the street. Just two storefronts down from the Crate and Barrel and mere steps from where we had been sitting for the past four hours.

It was then that we knew that something was terribly wrong.

Police officers, in their neon yellow jackets, tens of them, began running down the street towards the blasts.

An endless flow of yellow.

Distant screams reached our ears. People began to panic.

The immediate sense that we needed to get out of there washed over us. We walked quickly down to Newbury Street.

Talking and yelling all around us. “Bomb”… “Explosion”…”An attack”.

I pulled out my phone and called Steve’s dad. “I don’t know if you heard those explosions, but we’re alright.”

They hadn’t heard them. Thankfully, the boys were safely in the hotel and hadn’t heard a thing. Except for the sirens. The sirens that would continue for hours.

We flowed with the growing crowd. To our hotel. In the door and to our rooms.

We turned on the TV and saw the coverage of the explosions, shared in those same images being broadcast around the world.

Vaguely aware that we had seen it live just minutes before. And it was confirmed that there were bombs.

Someone had done this on purpose. People were dead. People were hurt. Really, really hurt.

None of it made sense.

We spent the next hours responding to panicked texts, emails, Facebook messages and tweets from friends and family members.

I heard from Cindy. She was okay, physically.

Televisions were set up in the lobby of our hotel as Red Cross workers, police officers and members of the National Guard lined the streets and flowed in and out of our hotel.

We went to get something to eat, to try to find some normality in the chaos.

Restaurants were instructed to close down shortly after we finished our meals. People were ushered off of the streets.

The city of Boston went quiet. Except for the sirens.

The Day After

I can only describe the next day as surreal. The streets were very quiet, much quieter than a Tuesday in the downtown core of a major city should be. The sirens continued and people milled around on the streets aimlessly, trying to make sense of what had happened.

We decided to venture into another part of the city, to give the boys a sense of a normal vacation. We found the Freedom Trail and walked past the historic sites, all the time aware of the police and media presence.



On our way to the Paul Revere House, we came across signs for prayer meetings, resolute Boston citizens offering hugs and hundreds of runners proudly wearing their Boston Marathon jackets.

The Boston Marathon: Grieving...And Looking Ahead

We talked to Bostonians who, teary-eyed and shaken, apologized to us. “I’m so sorry this happened while you were visiting our city.”

The Boston Marathon: Grieving...And Looking Ahead

Steve made a decision that day. Next year, he will run the Boston Marathon again.

Those people who set off those bombs, who caused the death of an 8-year old boy, who caused lasting injuries to so many…they were not going to win. Boston and the running community were going to rise above this.


In a chance meeting on Newbury Street, Jeré Longman, a reporter for the New York Times, interviewed Steve for this article.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Are we going to let whoever did this defeat us, or are we going to rise above it?” said Steve Michalski, 43, who works with autistic children in Salt Lake City and who finished Monday’s race before the bombings.

Noting that participants in Boston must run qualifying times to enter and that marathon running requires extreme dedication with months of training, Mr. Michalski said: “These people have a drive to succeed and take on challenges. They are not easily scared off.”

My husband’s words have been echoed by so many, runners and non-runners alike.

Paul Tergat, who held the world marathon record from 2003 to 2007, was quoted as saying, “Let’s pull together and shame the people who targeted innocent fans in Boston.”

Let’s do that. But then, let’s turn our attentions away from those who set the bombs, and focus on healing. Focus on strengthening the human spirit.

And so we remember the victims and their families.

And we honor them. By running strong.

Boston strong.

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{ 198 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 19, 2013 at 5:10 am

Even as I am grieving for my city, I’m so glad your family found joy here during your visit. My husband and I have vowed to be at the finish line next year. We will see you there.


2 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 19, 2013 at 5:19 am

Oh my goodness Dara, I’m so happy you and your family are alright. Marathon Monday still doesn’t make any sense, and is so maddening, I can only imagine how scary it must have been for you guys. All my love!!


3 Allie April 19, 2013 at 6:05 am

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m sure this wasn’t easy to write. I’m so relieved that you and your family are safe, and greatly admire your husband’s determination to run again next year. Hugs. <3


4 Liz @ The Lemon Bowl April 19, 2013 at 6:45 am

I have been anxiously awaiting this post, Dara. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I have chills all over my body as you know Boston is very close to my heart. I’m also so sorry this had to happen during your visit – such a cloud over such a joyous occasion. So glad you are home safe.


5 Margie Visnick April 19, 2013 at 6:52 am

Thank you for sharing your story….I am in tears again…as I read it. Hug those boys tight-so glad your family is ok!


6 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen April 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

It took me a while to get through this one, Dara. Very beautifully written. I cannot express how thankful I am that you, your family, and Cindy are okay. I have no words.


7 Megan {Country Cleaver} April 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

Thanks for sharing your story Dara. There are no words for this event. So relieved you’re all safe – and so excited (if that’s the right word) for Steve to run Boston next year – to take that stand and those steps for the ones lost this year. What a great guy.


8 Ali | Gimme Some Oven April 19, 2013 at 7:30 am

Oh Dara, tears reading this post. Your thoughtful narration and photos make it seem so read. So incredibly grateful that you and your sweet family were safe, and praying all over again for the families and city grieving the injuries and losses. What a difficult time, but grateful for the hope you and your husband speak.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us.


9 Cassie | Bake Your Day April 19, 2013 at 7:30 am

I can’t imagine going through this or the emotions you went through to type it all out. Thank you for sharing. Praying!


10 Amber Lewis April 19, 2013 at 7:41 am

Wow. I am trying to find the words that even describe my emotions reading your post. So glad you are safe, so glad your family is safe. I could not imagine being so close when it happened, and sitting so close to where it happened. Lots and lots of prayers to Boston and everyone involved.


11 Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles April 19, 2013 at 7:42 am

Thank you, Dara. Immediate tears with the people holding “free hugs” signs. The simplest gesture…love. Praying for Boston, and for our nation.


12 Carol April 19, 2013 at 7:43 am

I’m glad you are safe. Currently there is a manhunt on and I am in Toronto listening to the radio and glued to my news sources. Thanks for writing.


13 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough April 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

Dara, thank you so much for being open and sharing this post. It gives a sense of hope and light to a world that can so easily be covered by darkness. I’m so glad you, your family and friends are safe and sound. xo


14 Lori @ RecipeGirl April 19, 2013 at 7:50 am

Thanks for writing this Dara… you and family and Cindy have been in my thoughts all week. What a terrifying thing to have been a part of. I’m so grateful that you’re all okay.


15 Rachel Cooks April 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

This brought tears to my eyes. Such a wonderful post, Dara. Thank you for sharing. So glad your family is okay. Praying for continued healing for everyone involved.


16 Kari April 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

Wow, thank you for sharing your story. I imagine it was tough, too, to explain all of the events to your kids.


17 Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie April 19, 2013 at 8:01 am

Dara, this was so beautifully written–as usual. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I am so glad that your family was unharmed and that your boys had not heard the explosions. I am also glad to hear that Steve will be running again next year, and I know that his quote for the Times resonated with many (including me.) Run strong.


18 foodwanderings April 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

Dara, this post brought me to tears. I love seeing the accounts of your beautiful family and your two innocent little boys. You had me at “we are left with a decision of how we define this experience, and how we let it define us.” How can you be left un jaded, but you did, and it’s a triumph on its own. Shulie


19 Kalyn April 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

What a beautifully written post, and once again I am filled with gratitude that all of you are okay. When I first heard about this horrible event, all I could feel was anger that your kids memories of Boston would be tainted with thoughts of the violence. But Steve is so right that we must not let these things define us; his comments are the perfect response. xoxo


20 marla April 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

Oh Dara…….you so carefully explained and documented this for us. I was in Boston & ran this very same race in 2005. I remember being in awe at the start through to the finish line. So many people ~ strong endurance athletes with their loved ones everywhere. It was one of the most memorable times of my life. I am so sad and sorry for the chaos and fear that was brought to Boston & our world. I am happy you are all home safe and that Steve will run again with pride :) What a wonderful role model for your boys and humanity.


21 Jen @ Savory Simple April 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

Beautiful post, Dara. Thank you for sharing your story.


22 SMITH BITES April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

thank you for your grace, your poise, your determination Dara – am so very thankful for your presence and for your friendship


23 Brian @ A Thought For Food April 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

This will be a trip you never forget… but I’m so so so so so thankful that you and your family and friends are ok. And I got to see you which was such a pleasure. Your husband and kids are a delight. Lots of love, darling. Looking forward to seeing you next week.


24 Julie @ Table for Two April 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

Thank you for sharing this and writing this. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers this entire week and I’m so thankful you all are ok. I know this is something you won’t forget but justice will be served! I hope you all continue to heal and I love that your family is standing strong and doing this again next year. xoxo


25 Claudia April 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

Heartfelt and moving. Yes, focus on the victims, the fans, the city, the runners, the first responders, the police…the goodness.


26 Diana@My Humble Kitchen April 19, 2013 at 8:26 am

Dara, thank you for sharing this experience with us. I’ve been hoping you’d share something since I read your update on Facebook. I’m just so happy to hear, your family is okay and you’re getting through this. Much love!

Diana – Spain in Iowa (My Humble Kitchen)


27 bridget {bake at 350} April 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

Oh Dara….reading your post while the news plays in the background as they search for the second bomber. The picture of your husband and boys brings it all home. They targeted not the government, not politicians, but innocent, celebrating families.

You guys are all still in our thoughts and prayers.


28 Meg April 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

Thank you for writing this first-hand account and sharing it with us. I’m sure it was painful to write.


29 Kirstie April 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

Beautifully written. Couldn’t hold back the tears as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing…it’s part of the healing process for us all to be able to share our stories and hear others.


30 Alta April 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

Dara, so glad that you and your family are okay. Thank you so much for this post, and for sharing your husband’s words – tears in my eyes.


31 Stephanie ODea April 19, 2013 at 8:35 am

Thank you for writing and sharing your story. I’m so glad that you and your family is alright. My children are of similar age, and my husband runs. I can’t imagine how horrible these moments were for you. Please take care of yourself in the weeks/months to come — the aftershock memories and what-ifs can really take a toll. xoox


32 Kristina April 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

thank you for your incredibly moving words. I am very happy you and your family are okay, and still so very sad for everyone who is not.



33 Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 19, 2013 at 8:45 am

Wow…thanks so much for sharing this personal account. I’m glad that your family was uninjured and very, very sad for all who were affected by this tragedy. Way to go for your husband and his decision to run next year!


34 Ellynn April 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

Beautifully moving piece, Dara. We are all in horror at the devastation and pain in Boston, but your husband’s words echo loudly. Thanks for that. Glad you and your family are OK and keeping all those who are suffering or were lost in our hearts and prayers.


35 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet April 19, 2013 at 8:50 am

It’s hard not to cry while reading this, Dara… The images coming from Boston are truly heartbreaking… I am so glad that you and your family are alright. Thank you for sharing your story!


36 Shanna@ pineapple and coconut April 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

I teared up reading this. I remember you saying your husband was running the marathon this year and I am so grateful that you and your family are ok physically. I am sure that it will take time to heal mentally from all this. And so amazing your husband will run again next year. I think that shows a lot for human spirit to show we are stronger than the bad guys. What a scary experience to have been there first hand. Hugs to you!


37 Cate April 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

Thank you for sharing. I’m happy to hear you and your family are safe. As a Bostonian and runner, this has greatly affected me. I was supposed to volunteer at the finish line that day, but opted to be out on the course to cheer on the runners. I’m so grateful my family and friends are safe. Like your husband, and I’m sure thousands of others, I will be running Boston next year. Nobody will stop us and I think that speaks volumes for how resilient and strong we are bathe light definitely outshines the darkness.


38 Janet Bridge April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

I don’t even know what to say, except that I am thankful that you, your husband and everyone in your family survived this horrific attack.

Sending all of you my love,



39 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’ve been thinking of you and your family ever since the bombings. So thankful that you are all safe but so sad for those who were killed and injured. These are scary times that we’re living in, but we must not let those who would intimate and frighten us win. We must find the strength and resolve within us to rise above.


40 Amy @Very Culinary April 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

Horrific. I can’t imagine. I am once again saddened that an event which is meant to bring people together, had to end in tragedy. I’m so glad you and your family are ok.


41 Barbara | Creative Culinary April 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

I thought of you as soon as I heard of the bombs Dara; knowing you were there so your husband could race. SO very grateful your family is safe from harm and praying that the aftermath of having been so close does not unsettle your boys. Beyond the actual acts of terrorists are the residual acts and the one that can stop us all is fear. Your husband spoke the truth; being strong is more than just about running, it’s about thriving despite the odds. That attitude will be much needed in the days to come by the folks in Boston; may it prevail.


42 Dara Barwick April 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

Dara, thanks for such a personal story. We live on a farm in south GA and feel a million miles away from such tragedy, yet, we know it can happen anywhere. Our prayers are with you and your family and the hundreds of others who were affected by this awful thing. I have been so concerned about the injured and will be glad when we hear more about them. Thanks!


43 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious April 19, 2013 at 9:11 am

Wow, Dara…there was an angel assigned to you and your family that day. Thanks for sharing your post!


44 Bridget Oland April 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks for giving a voice to so many others who were there on Monday. It’s a lesson in humanity: Life is fragile, goodness is not.


45 Winnie April 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

Thank you for posting this Dara. I am in tears. Congrats to your hubby on his stellar finish. We’re all shocked and saddened by these events, but so, so glad your family is ok.


46 JulieD April 19, 2013 at 9:25 am

xoxo so glad you guys are safe and thank you for sharing your experience. Just have no other words, just glad you guys are safe.


47 Rena April 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

beautifully written. thank you for sharing. congrats to your husband on a great run.


48 Frank @Memorie di Angelina April 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

What a horrific experience. So glad you and yours are safe and sound! Be well.


49 Gina Geremia April 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thank you for sharing your story. It is heartbreaking, all of it, and it’s nice to know you gave your children a semblance of normalcy during your trip. I wish you and your family a wonderful trip back to Boston for next year’s marathon. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you there.


50 Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig April 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

Dara- First let me say congratulations to your husband for finishing the marathon with a great time, what an accomplishment. And wow, thank goodness you and your children are safe, what an experience you will never forget on many levels. The thing is just unreal especially the unfolding of today’s events. Best to you.


51 Liz April 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thank you for your newsy article. I’m so sorry and just feel sick about everything going on in the world. Please take care and keep family close.


52 Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

This post brought me to tears. So well written, I’ve been thinking of you and your family all week. Thank you for sharing!


53 addie | culicurious April 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’m so glad you, your family and friend were unharmed. I can’t imagine how terrifying and confusing it all must have been. Thanks for sharing your story. God bless!


54 Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats April 19, 2013 at 10:03 am

Beautifully written. I am so happy to hear your family and friends were safe. Hugs:)


55 jenjenk April 19, 2013 at 10:04 am

I had 3 friends/co-workers who ran the marathon and they’ve all committed to running it again next year as well. They don’t want to allow this horrible act of violence to be their only remembrance and to tarnish what was supposed to be a celebratory achievement.


56 Charlie April 19, 2013 at 10:09 am

I’m crying while replying.
I’m also praising God that you and your family are well and safe.
Everyone has been in my prayers from the first minute.

Praying for healing for everyone, for physical and physiological.

So glad you are all home.

Have a Joyful Day :~D


57 Judy April 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

What a wonderfully moving account, Dara. Thank you. Congratulations to Steve and all who took part. I am so glad you are all safe, but so sad to hear how so many people have suffered and lost so much. In 48 hours the London marathon will be all but over, and the security here is now immense. Sending love to you all.


58 Annalise April 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

I’m so glad your boys were safe in the hotel when the explosions happened, and that they didn’t see it. What an experience for your family! Thank you so much for this wonderful post, for your insight and perspective, and strength. Love you!


59 Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray April 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

This post gave me chills. I’m so glad that you, your family, and your loved ones were and are safe. Thank you for sharing your story, Dara.


60 fabiola@notjustbaked April 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

Thank you for sharing your experience, and story. I cannot imagine what you were feeling. I am so happy you and your family are ok.


61 Kathy April 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

I am so relieved that you and your family are safe. I love Boston and the glorious Boston Marathon Day. I used to live in Hopkinton, quite close to the starting line, and in that little town, Marathon Day is clearly the biggest day of the year. We are all horrified, but we will not be defeated. Boston Strong!


62 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom April 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

What a beautiful, beautiful post! I am still so sad by what the Richard family is going through. Not only did 8 year old Martin Richard die, but I believe his sister, only 7 years old (?) lost her leg and their mother is in critical condition. The father, who ran in the race, was interviewed and quoted in an article just saying “Please pray for my family.”

Thank you for sharing this account and I love the way you ended this! Let’s Honor Boston and the families.


63 Rachael @ Set the Table April 19, 2013 at 10:49 am

Oh, Dara- this is such a well-written account of that day. Thank you for sharing it with us. I found myself getting teary eyed toward the end, thinking about the 8 year old boy who didn’t make it and how very blessed and fortunate you must feel to have your family safe and sound and physically unharmed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you recover after experiencing something so terrifying.


64 Courtney @ Neighborfood April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

Thank you for telling a brave story, making a brave decision, and showing us that we’re a community of brave people. I have seen so much courage, generosity, and just plain old fashioned love since Monday–it makes me proud to live in this country.


65 Jackie {La Casa de Sweets} April 19, 2013 at 10:53 am

This is beautifully written, thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. We continue to pray for healing, and for grace.


66 Anne April 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

As a reader and follower you don’t even know, I’m adding my voice to all of your friends who are expressing their thanks and relief. Your story is very touching, and I appreciate your sharing it.


67 kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts April 19, 2013 at 11:17 am

hard to type, my eyes are brimming over after reading your words.
I am glad you are safe, I am glad you didn’t let fear completely consume a family trip your boys will remember, I am glad your husband finished and glad you plan to be there next year.
Thank you.


68 Renee - Kudos Kitchen April 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

I cried as I read your account of that horrific day. A day that started out with such hope and promise and yet ended in fear and sorrow. I’m so glad that you and your family are safe and were somehow guided to be in a safe place when those bombs went off. I’m glad to hear that your husband is planning on running again next year. That is an inspiration for so many reasons. God bless Dara and thanks for sharing your story.


69 Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry April 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thank you beyond words for sharing your story and words. They moved me to tears and I am so incredibly inspired that your husband is running again next year!


70 Kate @ And They Cooked Happily Ever After April 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm

So very sorry to hear that your trip to our city was ruined by this horrific event :( But so glad that you and your family are ok! And a big congrats to your hubby – that time is amazing. It’s times like these we need to focus on all the positive, happy and good things in life :)


71 Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet April 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

This is one of those posts that makes you wish you could say it was great, but the story is so sad that it almost feels wrong to say it. As soon as I heard about the bombing the first person I thought of was YOU and your family. I frantically ran to my computer to hack out a quick message to make sure you were OK without even looking at your Facebook wall. I was so relieved to see that you and yours were all safe! Thank you for writing this post! Your husband is incredible! 808th? Amazing.


72 Wenderly April 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

So thankful that you’re all safe and sound. Prayer for healing, body and heart. Beautiful words amidst such ugliness. Good for your husband to stand up and do it again!! Hugs to you and your family Dara.


73 Liren April 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Oh Dara. I am overcome with emotion, my hands cold as I read your account. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that you and your family are well and safe, and especially that your sons were safe and away at the moment of the explosion. I am just grateful for that and for your inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.


74 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Had no idea you were there. Thanks for this heartfelt post, Dara, and for painting the picture so clearly for us all. Congrats to your husband on his wonderful finish, despite it being under such somber circumstances and a day none of us will ever forget.


75 Carrie @ poet in the pantry April 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Congrats to your husband–what an incredible accomplishment! It must have been so difficult to be so close to the explosions. What an extremely close call–glad to hear you’re all fine. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


76 kelly April 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My goodness, I can’t imagine thinking about the timing of this all. I am thankful that you and your family are safe and that your attitude about this experience is strong and positive. You’re truly inspirational.


77 Karen @ Trilogy Edibles April 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

With tears in my eyes I finish your post. As a runner I know the euphoria of finishing a race and the training and determination that goes into the hundreds of hours of training. Reading that you were that close to it all shakes me. I am so glad that you guys were safe despite your close proximity. I’m also proud, as a runner, that Steve has decided to go back and run again. We are a truly proud group of people and I’m honoured to say that I am among them. Hugs Dara!


78 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your and your family’s experience with this horrible tragedy, Dara. I can imagine it was tough to gather your memories and thoughts during this moment, and then to put them into words for this post. So glad you all are safe. Boston has always been close to my heart, but it is especially closer now.


79 Jeanine April 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm

So glad you and your family are ok… this is all just so unimaginable. It’s such a scary time, thanks for writing a story of hope and strength.


80 Kristen April 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I so admire your ability to pull your thoughts and feelings together to write such a poignant post.
I am so thankful you are ok…and Cindy, and your family. So very thankful.


81 Jenny April 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

What a beautiful heartfelt post, Dara. My friend Kristen from Dine and Dish shared this with me and I’m so glad she did. The strength, kindness of spirit and love you and your husband showed is a wonderful example for our boys and for us all. Thank you for sharing your story.


82 Laurie {Simply Scratch} April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

What an exquisite post Dara and thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have tears streaming down my cheeks just imagining how you all must have felt, being so close. My heart goes out to everyone connected to this tragedy. XO


83 Debbie Crosby April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I’m in tears reading your poingnant recollections of that day, and the days that followed. I’m so proud of Steve for being committed to go back to Beantown, and facing Heartbreak Hill, once again. Boston is a great city, full of wonderful people. Utah has some great people, too!


84 Amanda April 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

So powerful and moving Dara… thank you for being brave enough to write this and strong enough to share honestly what you all experienced. Your husband is an amazing man!!


85 The Teacher Cooks April 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Thanks Dara for sharing this with us. It was very moving and I will have to say that yours are the only photos that I have seen before the race and of the winners. Thanks for posting them as well. Congratulations to your husband and am thankful for your safety. Am proud of what your husband and many others said about next year’s race!


86 claudia lamascolo April 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Lost for words. I knew you both were runners. I had several friends who ran this and thank god ok. This shocked me to read. I am from Utica where the boil maker run originated. I am sad for everyone afraid now to enjoy the life long achievements they so long for. Nothing is safe anymore and the world has changed beyond comprehensions. So many innocent people its a sad disgrace. I am so sorry your family had to be witness to such a horrific experience. Your words and meaning is heartfelt in this blog you share with us. I so wish I could just hug you all that your safe. Thank the good Lord he held you to still be here with us and continue to educate us on what we need to be aware of. The strength and courage you all with held is amazing to go on with the vacation without fear with him still at large. I am so glad your all ok. Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry it was not the trip by any means you all expected.


87 MyMansBelly April 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I was glad to hear that you and your family were okay. It was nice to finally see some positive photos from the marathon. Thanks for posting those.


88 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) April 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I remembered seeing your picture of your husband’s bib number on my Facebook feed the night before so naturally, when news of what happened was released the next day, you and your family immediately came to mind. I’m glad you were all unharmed and thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is a day that we won’t forget and I admire your family’s determination to return next year. Beautifully written, Dara.


89 Soma April 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I am all teared up again Dara. I cannot imagine how it feels to be part of all these. In a way we all are, but just physically being there… I really have no words. So proud of you guys and each and everyone out there on that day. Praying for those who needs to heal – physically and emotionally. God bless your family.

– x Hugs


90 Suzanne Collier April 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

You were my very first thought the moment I heard about the bombs. I can’t express how relieved I was to know that you and your family were all doing well. Thank you for sharing your story and, in the re-telling, remind us that the enemy will not defeat us! As we say here in Texas, “Time to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.” May God bless all who were in harm’s way and their family and friends, the City of Boston, those – like yourself – who bore witness to such a horrific event, and God Bless America! I pray that the healing begin.


91 Tammy @ SkipperClan April 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I cannot imagine being in your shoes even after reading your story. Prayers for you, for everyone, what a week it has been.


92 Denise Browning@From Brazil To You April 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Dara: I cannot even imagine the chaos and sorrow of each one of you. Your testimony just brought tears to my eyes, and also a question — since I found out about this tragedy: How can someone have such an evil heart?
May the Lord bring comfort to each one of you and give us all strength to overcome fear and injustice. Our prayers are with each one of you…especially those who were injured or killed, and their families. To you, a big hug. I am so glad that you and your family are safe.


93 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts April 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm

There are just no words. I can’t believe you were there and experienced it. So glad to hear that you and your family are safe. Congrats to your husband on the marathon, good for him for standing up and getting ready to do it next year. Thanks for sharing this.


94 Kate D. April 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you for sharing the story of your experience at the Boston Marathon. Although I now currently live in my home state of New York, I lived more than 18 years in southern New Hampshire and have been a spectator at the Boston Marathon a few times – mostly watching (proudly) family members cross that magnificent finish line.

I’m not sure you can understand fully what the Boston Marathon means unless you have been there personally to cheer on the runners. I have been to other marathons, 5Ks and triathlons and none of them compare to the Boston Marathon. Not only is it the longest running marathon in the country, but it is the only large marathon where you have to qualify to enter. The energy of the spectators, runners and the volunteers is just incredible.

My heart breaks for the victims, as well as the city of Boston that opens it’s arms to thousands of visitors for this remarkable marathon. I’m so glad your family is safe.

I’m so sorry that you could not enjoy your visit to Boston as you should have been able to, though I’m glad you could experience the Freedom Trail. I have lived in many parts of the country, but Boston will always hold a special place in my heart, as does the Boston Marathon.

My guess is that the 2014 Boston Marathon will be the biggest, best and most memorable (for all the right reasons) race the city of Boston has ever seen.


95 Liz April 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

So many worlds have been shaken by two troubled, tortured souls. I’m so glad your story didn’t end in tragedy, but will keep all of you in my prayers. I hope your boys are doing OK…xo


96 Nancy @ gottagetbaked April 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Dara, I’ve been silently following you on this blog and social media for a while now but I just had to comment on this strong, eloquent, beautiful post. I had tears in my eyes the entire time I was reading it. I’ve been paying close attention to all the media stories as they come out of Boston, including the horrific events that happened this morning. I’m so glad that you and your family are safe and sound. The images you captured here are so powerful – it shows strong, determined people like your husband and friend, people who have trained long and hard to compete in an amazing challenge like this marathon. These joyous photos of strength and solidarity stand in stark contrast to the ones showing a city reeling from the devastating bombing. But you’re absolutely right – everyone needs to band together, stand strong, and not let these criminals win. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who were affected by this.


97 Kate | Food Babbles April 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I am moved my your words, by your account and I’m thankful. Thankful that you and your family are alright, safe and sound. That Cindy is as well. I love that you and your family will once again run the Boston Marathon and not let this awful, senseless act stop you.


98 Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust April 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience Dara. It’s gut-wrenching to read; I cannot imagine the fear and feelings you have having lived it. I’m so glad that you and your family are okay. ((hugs))


99 Tameka Downing April 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I am so glad that you and your family are ok. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I am sorry you had to go through that. Boston is such a great city, and I am glad you won’t let this tragedy keep you from coming back. Many asked me after 9/11 why I decided to become a flight attendant, and my answer was similar to your husband. I pray that you you and your family will be safe as they search for the ones responsible.


100 Terri A. April 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Thank you for sharing. You and your family are truly an inspiration.


101 Niki April 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm

As others have said, such a beautifully written post, it brought me to tears. I am so glad you guys are ok! And what a great attitude.


102 Maria April 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad to hear you are all safe, especially considering how close you were to the danger. God bless you.


103 JudyR April 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Go Steve! Nothing makes an American more stubborn about their freedoms than somebody trying to take them away.


104 Karen Petersen April 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Oh man, that is so crazy.
I’m so glad you and your family are okay.
What a scary experience!


105 Sheila April 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm

So thankful your family is safe, and other friends and family that I know that were there all made it home safe. Sadly that is not the story for everyone. Thanks for sharing your story…and your husband is an amazing brave daddy, so glad he has chose to rise above and will run next year. Boston Strong. Sheila


106 Dana Snyder April 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Beautifully written, Dara. Thanks for sharing about it, how crazy. We are so glad you are all okay, and inspired by your family’s determination to rise above fear. God bless you guys! xoxo


107 Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy April 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Dara- thank you for such an emotional post. You really captured this scary experience. I’m so glad you and your family are OK. Best, Dana


108 Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Dara, this was such a beautifully written post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can’t imagine how it felt knowing that if had only been a few minutes earlier. I am writing this comment now knowing who did it and knowing that they are no longer loose on the streets. Boston is one of my most favorite cities and I pray that they can begin to really heal and eventually move on from this horrible tragedy.


109 Pat April 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

Amen. (so be it) You have captured the emotions so many have felt but could not express. God bless you all.


110 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes April 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

So well written Dara. It must have been therapeutic to put it down on “paper”.


111 jennifer findlay April 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

I’m so sorry that this happened to you and your family. There is no way to explain the madness that grips some human beings. I applaud your husband’s spirit to carry on running the marathon to honour those who have suffered such huge losses. Bravo!


112 Heidi @foodiecrush April 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Like many of the posts above, you were the first one I thought of when I heard the news. I’m so impressed with your composure through the event and now describing it and can only imagine the fortitude and passion that will go into the competition of next year’s race. Because it WILL happen, Boston wouldn’t think of letting terrorists pull their city’s spirit down. Congrats to Steve, what an accomplishment.


113 anniegi April 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

I’m glad you and your family got through this ok physically. The people I know who were there will never be the same sadly. Thank you for your kind words about my hometown. We will back & better than before. And I’m glad that you will be back as well.
Many blessings


114 bellini April 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

For the past week we have watched this tragedy unfold on the news. I am so glad to hear that your own family is OK. It must have been a heart wrenching experience. I know you are staying strong.


115 shelly (cookies and cups) April 22, 2013 at 7:38 am

Honestly all the what-ifs in this story are too much to bear. I can’t say enough how glad I am that you and your family are safe.


116 Kelsey April 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

What a touching and real account of your time in Boston. I am so thankful your family is healthy, whole, and still together. How blessed you are.


117 Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake April 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thank you so much for sharing. My heart grieves for the city of Boston as well as for all the runners in the marathon. Thank you for such an honest account of what happened and for putting the focus on healing and rising above such a horrific tragedy. Praying for all those involved!


118 Cindy @ Kicking it In April 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

My dear, how do I compose the right comment for this post? It’s only the third time I’ve read it since you posted it. Your words and images are equally powerful and in themselves honor the spirit of Boston, of runners, and of those runners’ supporters. Isn’t it true the running family is the most accepting and close-knit of any sports (or any, period) family in existence? Well, gosh, look what brought the two of us together. Hmm?

Thank you for writing this post. You have such a unique perspective of being a runner, a runner’s wife and a somewhat objective observer (at race time). You’re also a great friend and we’ll grow stronger from this. Run on. BostonStrong.

Love you!


119 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I’m so sorry that you had to experience this first hand while visiting. I’m so glad you’re all okay. Your post was beautiful and thoughtful.


120 Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) April 24, 2013 at 2:59 am

Oh, Dara, that was so beautifully written. I read every word, but the tears didn’t start until I read your description of seeing your husband approaching and then I lost it from there. I’m so glad he’s running again, although not surprised from what you’ve shared about him. I admire you trying to make the next day as much of a vacation as possible for the kids. Thank you for sharing your story.


121 Marian May 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

As I sit and read your experience tears roll down my face. I though I was tear free for crying so much. Thank your husband and your family to make the decision to come back to my beautiful city.
We cannot wilt with baby killers, girl killers and police officer killers.
Boston strong!!!!!


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