When Joe Myers and Karen Harr began the Boston Marathon one year ago, neither of them expected to be a part of the chaos following the bombings at the finish line.
After two explosions detonated on Boylston Street, many runners found themselves stranded in the masses. Myers, who had not yet finished the marathon, remembers the crowds of confused people in front of him.
He was unable to contact his family, but eventually returned to the hotel of a fellow runner. Despite the scare, he plans to return to Boston this year and finish what he started.
“You have to," Myers said. "If you don’t, then evil wins and you can’t let that happen. You have to move forward with life.”
Karen Harr, training director for Fleet Feet Sports in Pittsburgh, had finished the race 30 minutes prior to the explosions. She was at a medical tent when she heard about the explosions. She spoke with Essential Pittsburgh last year on her way home from Boston. She, too, will run in Boston again this year, but says the atmosphere of the race will be forever changed.
“It’s never going to be the same again," Harr said. "Does that mean it’s going to be worse? No, it’s going to be different. We’re going to keep moving forward. Everybody’s going to still go. We’re not going to lead our lives being afraid. But does terrorism make a difference? It does. It changes things. It’s not going to be the same innocent race that it was.”
Joe Myers and Karen Harr will run the Boston Marathon to benefit the Pittsburgh cancer support group Our Clubhouse, formerly known as Gilda's Club.