Eva Heidingsfelder, 19
I ran the race with a friend and we were about a mile from the finish line when my phone went off—it was my roommate. Thinking she wanted to know if I was done, I didn’t pick up. Seconds later my phone lit up again; this time my mom was calling. I thought the same thing, but picked up and barked into the phone, “I’m still running, stop calling me!” They just wanted to know if I was okay, and this was proof enough.
We turned onto Commonwealth Avenue and had to stop because there was a mob of people blocking the course. I looked down at my watch: 25.5 miles. Confusion ensued. News traveled through the crowd that two bombs had gone off. Cell towers were turned off. Everyone was crying. Loved ones were scouring the crowd for one another. Spectators lining the course offered us water, garbage bags, and cell phones. The medical tent near us had run out of blankets, so we laid on the hot asphalt to stay warm.
I wanted to go anywhere but there, but I couldn’t imagine going any farther. Without any other choice, we walked the 4.5 miles back to campus.
For many reasons, April 15 is a day I will never forget.
—As told to Boston magazine. Photo by Scott M. Lacey