Karen Carr, 26
This was my first marathon. I woke up with pure excitement that I was going to be running the Boston Marathon in just a few short hours and would be running for those that I love. I ran for the ALS Association MA Chapter. My father was diagnosed with ALS and passed away in 2008 so to be able to run for him and all those still suffering was amazing. I had made it to mile 25 when everything came to a halt. Having been running for 4 hours, you are sort of in a daze and hearing that explosions had gone off at the finish line, you almost believe it’s a joke. You soon realize it’s reality and confusion, exhaustion and fear begin to set in. The last time I saw my mom, my sister and my boyfriend was at the 17 mile marker, and the last thing they said to me was that they’d be waiting for me at the finish line. Several spectators had offered me their water, and were handing out trash bags and covering us with these trash bags to keep warm while we waited on where we were to go next. I had no cell phone so a runner who still had service quickly lent me their phone to make a call to my family. Hearing they were all OK was a relief! Sadly, a lot can’t say the same. It’s a terrible way to remember my first marathon but seeing how everyone quickly jumped to help one another is what truly matters. I committed to raising money for the ALS Association and to run 26.2 miles, so I will run again. Not only for those suffering with this awful disease but for the lives of those who were taken so soon that day. Whether you were at the finish line, a mile from finishing or watching on TV you were one way or another affected by this terrible tragedy.