WE ARE BOSTON STRONG and the whole world knows it!

I am 49 years old, married to a marathoner and have two beautiful girls. 2014 was my 13th Boston Marathon.

Last year in Boston I had a great race finishing in my fastest Boston time – 3:17:10. When I finished, I grabbed my clothes and went to Exhale Spa for a wonderful shower. This has become a Boston ritual for me. Feeling great after the shower, I headed with my friend over to MJ’s for a beer. That’s when we realized something TERRIBLE had happened.

My friend Carmela and I were desperate to find friends and family to make sure they were OK. I had told my brother, who also ran, I would be at the Lenox Hotel if he wanted to meet up. With interrupted phone service, it was difficult to locate people. First we confirmed our friends were safe in their hotel room. They informed me the Lenox had been evacuated.

I continued on to the Lenox to find my brother. It was scary walking through the streets seeing FBI, armored vehicles, dazed and panicked people. As I got closer to the Lenox I heard another explosion. Police were yelling to us to turn around and get out of the area. I’m not sure of the details, but I was told the police safely detonated another bomb. I ran back to the hotel where my friends were and begged the doorman to let me back in. They were locking down all hotels. They called the room and confirmed it was OK. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t let me in. The phones were not working. Once I was in the room, a friend’s family offered me a ride out of the city. I was so grateful.

Fast forward to the summer of 2013. I heard of this cross country run to raise money for the One Fund. I knew I HAD to do it. What an amazing experience. My husband and I ran the final leg (approx 7.2 miles). The baton arrived later than scheduled, but we were all ready with headlamps and reflectors.

What a crazy experience running the last miles of the Boston Marathon at night. We arrived at the finish line on Boylston and pretty much shut down traffic! One of the bombing victims was pushed across the finish line in a wheelchair by his daughter as he held the baton. A very emotional time.

Naturally I HAD to run Boston 2014 and I was fortunate enough to have run a time that allowed me to register the first day. My children were on the hills of Newton in 2013, so they were not aware of what was going on until they heard the news talking about the bombing. We talked and I assured them I was safe and would continue to run Boston as long as I could. The time came for them to make their decision as to whether they wanted to go back to Boston in 2014 and without hesitation they said YES!! I’m so proud of them.

2013 – My girls and a friend cheer me on in Newton

Boston 2014 was one of the most amazing race weekends. It was filled with so many emotions for so many. It was fantastic to see my friend Carmela run the 5k race on Saturday (one of the many exciting races Saturday). We were blessed with beautiful weather all weekend. So many people in the streets. I was walking to the Old South Church to get my scarf and noticed a woman with a marathon jacket just break down and cry. I asked if she was OK and she said “yes” and hugged me. She apparently had run last year and walking by Marathon Sports just flooded her with emotion. The running community is truly one family. We can hug and talk to complete strangers as if we are family. We were blessed to have knitters from around the world knit scarves for the runners and bless them. Thanks to all who made that happen. The city this weekend displayed such unity, strength and class. WE ARE BOSTON STRONG and the whole world knows it!

A friend and I at Mile 16

The marathon itself was hotter than I like, but you can overcome anything when you have the BEST spectators in the world cheering for you. Every town along the way celebrated 110%! Fire hydrants were blue/gold, faces were painted, adults and children dressed in Boston strong clothes, flags were waving, and I could go on and on. I was pleased with my effort and race time – 3:19:44. Guess what that means….DAMN RIGHT! I’ll see you all in 2015!

Kelly LeCours
Bradford, Massachusetts
April 21, 2014
Age – 49
Bib # 10456