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Solidarity with Boston

Members of the Marquette community reflect on the tragedy and vow to return to Boston to run again.

“Stunned by the bravery”
Dr. Gary Krenz, professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science

Before the race, I was chatting with fellow runners under a tent on the Hopkinton High School baseball field when a woman asked if she could pray for our safety. We bowed our heads.

Later in the run, I had another experience that will stay with me forever and that probably helped me get past the finish line before the explosion. I wasn’t running well. I’d had trouble in my training and, sure enough, when I got to about mile eight, I started cramping up. I was walking by mile 22.

When I made the final turn, where you can see the finish line blocks ahead, I was dragging. A fellow runner tapped me on the shoulder and encouraged me to run those final blocks. He got me going, and I crossed the finish line with 4:07:56 showing on the race clock.

About a minute and half later, the first bomb went off.

0All I could think was, “Oh, no, not here.”

It was amazing witnessing the reaction of the police officers and EMTs who’d been standing at the back of the runner’s area; they grabbed their med kits and took off, flat-out running toward the smoke.

I’m still stunned by the bravery I witnessed in Boston and, later, by the compassion of Bostonians who cared for the stranded runners.

“I plan to return next year”
Sarah Parks, Nurs ’13

I was able to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams by running in the Boston Marathon. ...

When the blast occurred, all I could think about were the cheering spectators I saw on the course and the volunteers who ran right up to check on me when I crossed the finish line. The bombers targeted innocent people at a joyous event. I will never be able to understand that.

The impact has brought a new value to running in the Boston Marathon to me, and I plan to return again next year to show the strength of the running community and for the people of Boston.

“Profound sense of sadness”
Kathy McGurk, senior in the College of Health Sciences

The moment I had been imagining for so long  finishing the Boston Marathon  was everything I had dreamed of. But within 40 minutes, my emotions took a drastic turn as the horrific events unfolded.

Now a cloud of sadness envelops many of the good memories from that day.

Normally, the post-race pain carries a wonderful excitement and pride for having finished. This time, every step reminded me of the people who were not able to finish the race, the people who may never walk again and the three victims who will never return home. I feel a profound sense of sadness for the victims and their families, and I will forever keep them in my mind as I continue to run and live my life.

I feel a tremendous need to go back and run again in support of the victims, fellow runners, spectators and the city of Boston.

“I will run for peace”
Patrick Manner, sophomore in the College of Health Sciences

As I read the headlines, watched a few news crawlers and started to text my wife at work, my thoughts turned quickly to our brother and sister-in-law who live in South Boston. He’s an EMT, and she’s a cardiac nurse at Mass General. They were safe.

During the next few days, I read stories about potential Al Qaeda connections and American retribution by opinionated bloggers and posters. I decided to pause and, in the Jesuit tradition, ask myself what this situation could teach us.

In that time of reflection, my choice became clear. I will run in the upcoming half-marathon in Milwaukee to honor my friends who could not finish the race and make a personal statement that there are other responses to violence than more violence.

I reached out to Patrick Kennelly at the Marquette Center for Peacemaking with my idea to run as a way to raise awareness for the center. I will run for peace, an active and even assertive peace, but peace nonetheless.

“I ran it for them”
Dr. Brant L. McCartan, H Sci ’06

I ran to raise money for Special Olympics, and I raised nearly $6,000. It was through the help of friends and family, countless social networking posts, and reminders and spam-like emails over four months that I was able to achieve this.

This amount of money funds 16 Special Olympic athletes for an entire year. I ran it for them, but I also ran it for myself.

There were thousands of us running for charities that did not get an official time, but it’s about more than finishing for us. I exceeded my goals and raised a lot of money for an amazing organization, and that’s enough for me. I’m proud of that.

“Evil couldn’t shake us”
John Pinkham, Comm ’11

I could not be more proud of my city. What I saw that day of the marathon was horrible, but it was not all bad.

I saw the amazing people of this city rise to the occasion and rush into action, no questions asked. The Boston Marathon is one of the happiest days in the city, and we showed that even the most evil of actions couldn’t shake us. I am proud of everyone who helped out in the moment, everyone who helped find the bombers, and everyone who ran in the race and who will run next year.

I am very proud to call Boston my home.


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