The Shoes We Wore

Some of them completed the race. Others were stopped before the finish line. Here is what they ran in, and what they witnessed, during the 117th Boston Marathon.

boston marathon shoes stories

Kennedy Elsey

42, South Boston

I ran the Boston Marathon last year because I wanted to prove I could. I ran this year because I felt I could do better. I was miles away from the finish line when I heard about the tragic events. My boyfriend came to retrieve me and bring me home. I cried in the shower. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up crying. I cried at work yesterday. And now I’m just angry. But I will run next year, no matter how slowly, because I am not afraid.

boston marathon shoes stories

Amanda Rossetti

44, Woburn

This was my sixth Boston, and I was running to the finish and [she begins to cry] I was thinking about the Newtown kids, because that’s the mile marker. That’s what I had on my mind, running down Boylston. I crossed the finish right as the first bomb went off. It was 2:49:49. At the end of the marathon, it’s really loud and exciting and they’re calling your name when you cross the finish line. But I didn’t hear anything like that. The glass, that’s what I noticed most, glass flying everywhere. And the fire. The policemen were running toward us and just kept saying, “Run, run, run.”

boston marathon shoes stories

Andrea Hadfield

30, South Boston

I told all my friends and my family to go to the finish line, that’s the best place to go. There is just a roar of emotion. It’s the best feeling, it’s a charge. After the explosions, I was so upset not being able to reach anyone because I led all these people to—maybe—their death. It was the worst feeling. It was heartbreaking for everyone. In the days after, I have never felt so proud to be from Boston. Sometimes I freak out about street cleaning and car towing. And don’t get me started on the MBTA. But hearing that people ran to Mass General and to area hospitals to give blood after finishing the marathon—I think it’s amazing. I wish I had the presence of mind to do the same.

boston marathon shoes stories

Heather Cline

38, Canton

This was my first race ever—in my life. I was running in honor of my son, Zachary, who has liver disease, and to raise money for the American Liver Foundation. Zachary’s 11, and he’s going to need a liver transplant at some point before he’s an adult. For the last decade, a man named Tom Nealon, who lives in Miami, has been running and teaming with Zachary to raise money. But Tom is getting up there in age, so he decided that this year he’d hand things over to me. We ran together, and he was with me the whole race. I didn’t get that far because it was my first race, but I was still proud to run. To end Tom’s run, and begin mine, with this horrific act? It’s just terrible. I’m having nightmares.

To read more stories—and share your own—go to, or tweet @BostonMagazine with the hashtag #BostonShoes.

Next >> See who contributed shoes for this project, including the cover.

  • Melanie Powers

    Will more stories be posted on the site from all the runners that submitted sneakers?

    • Kaitlyn Johnston

      Hi Melanie, yes, we are posting additional stories (and inviting
      people to submit their own stories/photos) at

      We’re frequently updating this page with more shoes and stories as they come in.

      Thank you for sharing your story and shoes with us.

  • Viv

    Is this issue on the newsstands yet? I can’t find it anywhere

    • eileen

      I sent an email to the editor and the response was:

      I apologize, but we’re currently completely sold out of our May
      issue of Boston
      magazine. Our subscription service was also notified that they cannot start
      any new subscribers with May. The response has been absolutely

      • Viv

        thanks, Eileen.

        Seems like a no-brainer to do another print run…

  • Meaghan Clements

    This is an incredible piece. Great job on the website.

  • weiwei


  • Calleigh Michelle Lim

    Such an amazing cover with a powerful unflinching message. Loved this!

  • brianlyke

    i am also wear Sandy Xenos shoes . This shoes are really nice one. I think it provide a lot of grip while running or jogging. And i sure it will never slip and fall. TRIPPED ON BROKEN CURB