April 19, 2013

I (Almost) Finished Boston. ~ Tammy Hynes


One day after the bombings in Boston, I received an email from my dad with a copy of a Facebook status update from a friend of his who had been running in the Boston Marathon. Graciously, she’s allowed us to share it on elephant—and so, another first hand account of that day. May it be of benefit. ~ Ed.

Thank you everyone for your wishes and love and hugs…I feel it all the way here.

Many have asked what happened, so here goes:

I passed mile 25 marker and life is good—I am feeling tired but know I can finish. I have a smile on my face and celebration and emotion in my heart.

Then, I hear a few police sirens and we had to move to the side of the road for some to pass…didn’t know what was going on…so, I keep running. Then a guy waves to me and says I have to stop..I thought are you crazy…and I keep running.

Then a lady comes up beside me and says that there has been a bombing at the finish line and we have to stop.

Of course, my first thought is disbelief…this can’t be happening…and then when I look ahead I see police stepping onto our route stopping us—I am freaking out…Joe and Porter are at the finish line! They made us stop there and wait.

The cold sets in as soon as you stop and  so does the cramping. I finally found a place to sit downand lean against a fence. People came around with water, but we were all so cold. We all wore clothes in the morning to keep warm and then donated it to charity.

Someone got some clothes and handed us shirts to put on—someone also handed me a black garbage bag to wear to keep the heat in.

I sat for a while and then couldn’t calm down.

A stranger let me use his phone to email Joe, but then I lost him in the crowds. I started walking around to see if I could find anything out.

Then I heard two killed…you do the math: I am screaming inside.

Finally, I saw a volunteer who said we could walk four blocks to Berkley College to get our bags that we dropped off in the morning, or wait and take a bus there. Someone then asked about the various hotels, including mine. He pointed and said we may be able to get over there.

So I climbed a hill, over a fence and started down Massachusetts Avenue towards the hotel. When I got back there it was chaos—people everywhere. I looked for the boys with no luck. I begged the front desk to call my room and then give me another key without seeing my ID, as I didn’t have any. I ran up to my room.

They weren’t there. I quickly texted Joe, and no answer.

I sat on the couch and cried and then turned on the television. Oh my God….now, I am really freaking out.

They mention that people are waiting in the family meeting area…that’s it!

I ran out of the room and tried to get to the area where we were suppose to meet. There were barricades everywhere and I don’t know the city well enough to know a back route.

I started asking people for help when I heard the ping of my phone and Joe had responded saying they were in the meeting area waiting for me. And then I cried again and ran back to the hotel to meet up with them.

The police had shut down all cell access in the area where he was, so his text to me saying they were okay and at meeting area was undeliverable.

They walked in the door and the relief of seeing them and the exhaustion was overwhelming.

It was very emotional, of course and Porter was laughing and wanting to know why I was hugging him so tightly and crying. Thank goodness his innocence does not yet appreciate the enormity of what happened, that he does not know of the evil in this world.

I think I am still in shock a little this morning—I didn’t sleep well—and oh yeah, I ran about 41km yesterday, so my legs are a (little) tired.

This is one of those things that happens in other places and to other people. Yesterday, it was real for me, for my wonderful husband (and it’s his birthday today) and my beautiful son.

I can’t even think of what might have happened and how different life for me could have been for me this morning.

My heart is overwhelmed with love and fear and relief.

So, I can say ” I almost finished Boston” yesterday, but we are safe and so thankful to be alive and unharmed.

Hugs and kisses to you all..and please forgive me in advance for the bear hug you will get when I see you next.

PS: We fly out on Wednesday, which I am grateful for, I am sure the airport is a zoo today.


Tammy Hynes lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband, Joe and son, Porter. Running a marathon has been a bucket list item for many years. Working for Manulife Financial allowed her to enter the Boston Marathon thru the affiliated John Hancock employee program. Many hours and miles of training were required as well as raising money for a Canadian charity, Pathways to Education. She hopes to continue running and return to Boston to complete the entire route next year.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Source: instagram.com via Danyel on Pinterest


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