Alexandria Hubbard, 24
This was my first marathon. This was supposed to be The Greatest Day. And for the first 21 miles of the race, it really was. I had so much fun. I high-fived a bunch of kids, took orange slices and Twizzlers from perfect strangers, and had a permanent smile on my face. I ran for my friend Dena, who was 29 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I feel like I failed Dena by not finishing for her. I made her a promise, and I made Dana Farber a promise, that I would run 26.2 miles for cancer research. But I only ran 25. It’s impossible to describe the sort of failure this feels like. I feel robbed. Like someone came into my home and took everything from me. It’s terrible. But I will run again. For Dena. For Dana-Farber. For me.