One Year Later, I'm Back at The Boston Marathon Finish Line
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I have been waiting for this moment since 4:48 pm on April 15th, 2013 – the moment when two policemen pulled me off the course at mile 25 of the Boston Marathon because two bombs had exploded close to the finish line. I was not injured nor was I close to the actual location of the terrorist attack. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Now that it’s here and I’m at the finish line on Boylston Street with all the caffeinated and slightly drunk marathon fans, I’m so happy it hurts. My soul is bursting with crisp air, bouncing shoelaces and absolute inspiration.
The Boston Marathon represents so many incredible things for so many different people. Last year's race was a day I had been dreaming about for my entire life. Let me tell you why – I grew up in Lexington, Mass., a wonderful town north west of Boston. My dad, who passed away from colorectal cancer when I was 14, ran the Boston Marathon in 1984. It had always been a life goal of mine to follow in his footsteps, literally. Maybe jogging in my dad’s path would bring me closer to him in some small way. It’s been 26.2 years (weird) since cancer stole him away from this world. To experience a similar joy, pain, sweat, crowd and heartbreak hills that he felt while running, is truly a blessing. I was the captain of the Grassroot Soccer Boston Marathon team, which had five dedicated runners representing our mission that day. Lastly, and most importantly, it was the one year anniversary of my second and most grueling allogeneic stem cell transplant that crushed my canzer into remission. Heavy sh*t, huh? This race tied up so many loose emotional ends in one happy bow overflowing with rainbows and flowers and hugs and good karma.
Then the bombs exploded. This wonderful day turned into a horrible expression of hatred toward innocent athletes and the greater Boston community.
That is why I’m so impressed with the 36,000 athletes running as a reminder of the odds this city will overcome. They run on behalf of those who can't, or who never had the opportunity. They run for the world that shares Boston’s spirit and friendship.
I was training to run again this year until I injured myself and had to defer my bib until 2015. That’s why I’m so happy to be included in the Universal Sports Network Boston Marathon Broadcast Team as the official social media correspondent. I will be cheering, laughing, crying and tweeting live from the finish line all day, and you can follow my inside look at @EthanZohn @UniversalSports #BostonMarathon #RUNasONE.
I’m not sure if everyone realizes the magnitude of this situation The 26.2 miles of competition will bring to fruition the hopes and dreams of so many runners around the globe. The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual contested marathon and has been running since 1897; is has raised more that 0 million for charity since 1989, and often more than 1 million fans line the street cheering on runners. One of the world's largest gathering of running talent will leave a lasting legacy across the globe. This is one of the greatest exhibitions of athleticism, pride, nationalism, emotion, creativity, resilience and competition our planet will ever see.
There is an African proverb that states: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
For the athletes themselves, running is a philosophy of life, combining one’s qualities from the body, will and mind. It is up to each individual to decide what this race means to them, but the fundamental values of community, friendship and the strength of human spirit should have the same meaning for every athlete hoping to fulfill their ambitions and build a better world. And I hope that’s a world full of peace. Rest in peace Krystle, Martin, Lingzi and Sean.
Video: IM BACK!!! 1 year later 😘
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