Like people all over the country, we were shocked and horrified by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and heartbroken to hear that 3 people died—including an 8 year-old-boy–and more than 140 people were injured by the explosions.
But we also read that the 78-year-old runner knocked over by the blast (seen in this Vine video) is not only OK, he got up, and finished the race. A race official came to help him up, according to NPR, and he was able walk the 12 feet over the line.
“I ended up second in my division,” Bill Iffrig says on The Everett Daily Herald website. “After you’ve run 26 miles you’re not going to stop there.”
Some NPR commenters said what he did was wrong, and instead he should have “helped others more seriously injured than himself.” We’re just happy to hear he’s okay and glad he made it over the finish line.
As New Yorkers the events in Boston immediately bring to mind the dark days after September 11, 2001, and in particular how life-affirming and bittersweet the New York City Marathon was in November of that year.
Tens of thousands of people ran with USA flags flying, including teams of NYC firefighters and police officers wearing images of fallen comrades on their jerseys.
We cheered and cried for the runners that year, and we do so now for the people of Boston and the marathon runners and their families. For so many of us, running is a way to heal, to achieve, and to keep going when life is at its most difficult.
We salute all those who rushed to help after the tragedy, and anyone who can get back up after such an awful event and still get over that finish line.