It's all about tradition

Photo of Beth Campbell and family

“I grew up watching my dad run Boston from our traditional family spectating spot on Heartbreak Hill. This year I was running with my dad (he's 70!) and my 3 sisters. My kids were watching us from the same spot on Heartbreak. It's all about tradition.”

Beth Campbell, 10th Boston Marathon

There is nothing else like it

Portrait of Josh Beisel

“Boston is the pinnacle. It's the reason why so many runners run. And, so many runners run marathons to qualify for Boston. It's the oldest marathon. There is nothing else like it. Even the two other suffer fests I ran were magical. There is no other run that I have ever done where it is just lined the full way with runners. Boston is awesome.”

Josh Beisel, 3rd Boston Marathon

The crowd support was incredible

Portrait of Laila Harre

“I have never experienced such a large and generous crowd, making even an amateur runner like me feel like a world champion. Their cheering kept me on pace and with gas in the tank to run the last few kilometers at the fastest pace I have managed on a marathon.”

Laila Harre, 1st Boston Marathon
Portrait of Chaiwat Engtrakul

“The local support from the City of Boston and surrounding communities is beyond anything I have ever experienced during my running career. It truly is a honor to run the Boston Marathon.”

Chaiwat Engtrakul, 2nd Boston Marathon
Portrait of Krystal Buck

“It's the super bowl of marathon running. People travel from all over the world to unify and compete on this challenging course. It's a holiday in Boston, which makes the cheering section very uplifting for the entire 26.2 miles.”

Krystal Buck, 1st Boston Marathon
Portrait of Mike Bowie

“It's Boston… there's only one Boston Marathon.”

Mike Bowie, 1st Boston Marathon

A heart filled with gratitude

I, like several thousand others, were not able to finish the marathon. It was terribly heartbreaking to hear the news of the bombings. Devastating to hear of the deaths and traumatic injuries to so many. For those of us left out on the course, it was also very disappointing. The race felt very incomplete.

I awoke Tuesday morning and discovered the virtual run being dedicated to Boston. Someone had created a bib with the skyline of Boston and the date 4-15-13. So I printed it. Put on my marathon shirt, attached my marathon bib number and the tribute to Boston bib and went to finish my race. I felt at peace as I started my watch and ran the final ½ mile in the quiet, solitary forest with only my footsteps, breathing and the sounds of water trickling in a stream and birds singing softly nearby. There were no fans, no race officials. No cheers. But there was peace…

I stopped at exactly ½ mile. Turned around and with a heart filled with gratitude returned to my family. I know there have been many HUGE events to pay tribute to those who lost lives or were severely injured or otherwise physically, mentally or emotionally affected by this tragic event. For me, however, a quiet run with a prayer in my heart and thoughts in my head this was best.

Lee Labrum, 2nd Boston Marathon

We'll never forget

“I've heard non-runners talk about taking up running as a result of the tragedy. People are friendlier on the roads and have a general love and understanding for being a part of such a wonderful group of people — runners.”

Stephanie Bartley, 3rd Boston Marathon

“Just the other day while running in downtown Manhattan, I exchanged handshakes with 2 other joggers, all 3 of us wearing our Boston tech tees. We'll never forget.”

Chad Kutney, 2nd Boston Marathon

“After Boston, finishing too close to the tragedy, and after thinking about all the people hurt, I did not feel like running. A week later, driving back from a quick trip to Phoenix, I stopped in Eugene to run Pre's Trail. The trail provided a forgiving path for my beat up legs, and the run brought back all the reasons I started running again after a 30 year detour away from long distance — I run now mostly for different causes, except for Boston, that I wanted to qualify.

That was important to me.”

James Larsen, 1st Boston Marathon

“Amazing! The city of Boston, the running and endurance sport community have really showed great support and compassion for all that has happened, it truly is a beautiful thing to see. The worlds needs to unite more like this and it should not take tragedy for us to do so.”

Mike Buenting, 5th Boston Marathon

“Like NEVER before. Every runner I know wants to run it in 2014.”

Mike Rouse, 17th Boston Marathon