Personal Best begins with a day I'll never forget: April 15, 2013, the day terror struck the Boston Marathon.
Following is an excerpt of the chapter entitled, 'Was That Thunder?'
WAS THAT THUNDER?
A good day to run a marathon is usually a bad day to watch a marathon.
That was not the case on April 15, 2013.
The day broke with a deep blue sky; a chilly wind fluttered from the west, the air was dry.
An endless procession of yellow school buses departed from the Boston Common to begin the journey along the Mass Pike to the village of Hopkinton, the center of the running world on Patriot’s Day.
My morning began in an unusual manner. Preparing to run the Boston Marathon for the sixteenth time, my wife and I decided that, rather than deal with the crowds at the bus loading area, she would transport me to the athletes’ village, drive back to the train station at Riverside, and later assume her place near the finish line on Boylston Street.
At the toll plaza, buses were lined up like yellow jackets at the hive, and despite some congestion on narrow country roads, we reached the quaint “Welcome to Hopkinton, Incorporated in 1715” road sign by 7:30 a.m. In the forested area on the edge of town, placards nailed to the trees bore the warning, “No Stopping Monday.” Between the words, “Stopping,” and “Monday,” was the image of a runner breaking the finish line tape.
Within three blocks of the athletes’ village, all roads were barricaded, and as my wife and I exchanged farewells, an achy, empty feeling of loneliness enveloped me, even as I approached a small city of more than 23,000 runners. I stood, motionless, for a few moments, as her car faded to a small silver dot. On a magnificent mid-April morning, something didn’t feel quite right to me.
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