Locally Running: Together We Made It!

On the night of June 30, 200 runners and one baton made their way to Newton, Ma. One footfall at a time they got closer to their destination. With each stride The One Fund purse grew larger – a fund set up to make this world a brighter place for those affected by the bombings in Boston.{{more}}

On the steps of Newton City Hall 1,000 dressed in their finest red shorts and blue T-shirts assembled. Waiting … Including Team Bradley comprised of me, Frank Bradley, Trisha Waskawicz of Orange and Nicole and Sarah Wolfe of Fairifeld. We were joined and cheered on by Katina Wolfe, crutches and all, from a recent surgery … as were all there that day in Boston! We needed closure … we needed to finish and we needed to support those who were less lucky then we were, to come away unharmed. Nervous chatter of anticipation filled the air as strangers shared their stories with a warm embrace. Low flying swifts soared on the heat from this crowd of bodies. Clouds gathered obscuring the moon that had previously lit up the City Hall and a hush fell over the crowd. Eyes turned to the horizon, hearts beating in unison …

Amongst the thronging crowds a cry called out, “Here they come!”

Another runner, choked with tears, whispered, “I can see Miles.” With these words, a river of bodies poured onto the road enveloping the small and weary group. Miles – the affectionately named baton – was held high, runners were held in tight embraces, the light of a hundred flash bulbs left dark spots in the eyes of the runners. Whoops and cheers addressed the hidden moon.

Together these two bands joined forces; final destination and destiny, Boylston Street. Cheered by family and spectators, runners shared Miles’ company until the last mile. At this point Nicole took hold of Miles – she had her own personal mission. Ten weeks previously she had been running this same course, looking forward to finishing the marathon, to waving to her father as she crossed the finish line.

As events on April 15 unfolded, this became something she wasn’t able to do. Police stopped her in her tracks and told her to turn around and run in the opposite direction to the finish line. Her father, who had travelled 3,300 miles from California, just as Miles had now, to see his daughter finish, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries from two bomb blasts that devastated the finish line. Now in the early hours of July 1, Nicole was going to finish what she started. Not only that, she was going to pass Miles to her father, now wheelchair bound, and finish the race together.

At the finish line tears fell, more cameras flashed, interviews took place, friends were reunited, and again strangers grabbed and held each other tightly.

3,300 miles, 14 states and 2,000 runners. Together we made it. And we will be back next year!!!! See you on the trails.