Bos­ton marathon­ers vow to take back race

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

“Left on Boyl­ston” in this Amer­i­can city means only one thing on marathon day.

It means you’re in the home stretch of the Bos­ton Marathon, and all of the early morn­ing runs in the dark New Eng­land win­ters, and all the wild cheer­ing from fam­ily and friends, and all your mem­o­ries about Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Sa­muel­son and Uta Pip­pig, are about to carry you across the fin­ish line.

“I can’t even imag­ine when I turn onto Boyl­ston,” said Katie O’Don­nell. “No doubt I will be cry­ing. It’s go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly emo­tional.”

Last year, O’Don­nell, 38, a doc­tor at Bos­ton Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal, didn’t fin­ish the race af­ter com­plet­ing more than 25 miles. There was no “left on Boyl­ston” for O’Don­nell and a throng of other marathon­ers.

Of­fi­cials stopped the race af­ter two pres­sure cooker bombs ex­ploded near the fin­ish line, killing three people and in­jur­ing more than 260.

“It was such a sucker punch,” O’Don­nell said.

But on April 21, 36 000 run­ners, in­clud­ing O’Don­nell, will be part of the sec­ond-largest field in the event’s his­tory, with the goal of tak­ing back a race that New Eng­lan­ders hold sa­cred.

David Chor­ney, 26, a law stu­dent at Suf­folk Univer­sity in down­town Bos­ton, grew up in New Hamp­shire, just north of Mas­sachusetts and re­mem­bers watch­ing the race in study hall at el­e­men­tary school. He didn’t plan to run a marathon this year, but af­ter the bomb at­tacks he ac­cel­er­ated his train­ing so he could qual­ify.

Chor­ney se­cured his spot with a time of 2 hours, 33 min­utes at the Le­high Val­ley Marathon last Septem­ber, a half-hour faster than the race’s strict stan­dard for his age group. He ex­pects to im­prove on his time at Bos­ton, but a per­sonal record isn’t his guid­ing thought.

“What hap­pened last year was ab­so­lutely dev­as­tat­ing,” Chor­ney said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing part of the re­cov­ery and restora­tion of how we all tra­di­tion­ally think about the Bos­ton Marathon.”

Along with tens of thou­sands of run­ners and hun­dreds of thou­sands of spec­ta­tors, this year’s event will fea­ture an en­hanced po­lice pres­ence. Some 3 500 law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, dou­ble last year’s num­bers, will be posted along the 26.2 mile route and new re­stric­tions will pro­hibit run­ners or spec­ta­tors from car­ry­ing back­packs or other large parcels.

Fabio Fognini of Italy plays a back­hand against James Ward of Great Bri­tain dur­ing day one of the Davis Cup World Group Quar­ter Fi­nal match be­tween Italy and Great Bri­tain at Ten­nis Club Napoli yes­ter­day.

Bos­ton- Mrathon run­ners com­pet­ing for places in one of the pre­vi­ous events.

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