teven Wagner

Steven Wagner, 20

Chestnut Hill

Over 25 miles behind us and we were racing to the finish. Maybe it was more of a limping jog, my face contorted by the conflicting senses of pain and accomplishment. The last 5 miles were a struggle with cramping in my right leg as my splits ascended with Heartbreak. Sure, I wanted to stop at BC, but I also wanted to finish my first marathon, and I resolved to do just that … finish.

Then, we slowed to a stop just before the turn onto Hereford and news trickled in about what was happening just blocks away. An eerie discomfort ran through us. Would we finish? The news became more and more grim. Worry, tears, and cold set in. A runner named Gerri gave me a plastic bag to block the cold, and we accepted that this was the end of our race. I found warmth in the incredible exhibition of support and exuberance that pushed us forward along the route (and the plastic bag, of course).

I hope that marathon spirit never dies in Boston. It is unlike anything else. This year, we were denied crossing the finish line. Next year, we will finish.

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