I turn over and look at the clock for what has to be the hundredth time that night. 4:00am. Still 1-1/2 hours until I need to wake up. I close my eyes again but do not go back to sleep fearing that one of the multiple alarm clocks I have set will not go off and wake me in time. Instead I lay there in the darkness thinking about the day ahead with nervous anticipation.
You see, it is the morning of my first Boston Marathon. THEE Boston Marathon. The marathon of all marathons. The marathon that all runners know about, most runners dream about running one day and only a select number have the ability to qualify and opportunity to participate. For 116 years runners from around the world have been running the historic 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston, through the beautiful New England streets lined with thousands enthusiastic fans cheering them on.
I had qualified, I had been accepted and I had trained. And in just a few hours I would feel the exhilaration of crossing the Boston Finish Line, be holding my coveted Boston Marathon Medal, wearing the prestigious finishers shirt and have MY story to tell about how I ran the 117th Boston Marathon.
Of course, if you asked, I could have told you hundreds of ways I thought my story would play out, but never did I imagine an ending as tragic as this.
As we all know, this day that was supposed to be of joy and celebration became a day where running a marathon was of no importance. However, my story still needs to start from the beginning to understand how quickly the day changed from running towards the finish line into running for my life.