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  • Monday will be the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon. This year, the Boston Marathon carries a significance and a strength for a city that recently marked the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings.

    From WBUR’s Alex Ashlock’s coverage of the event:

    The day was marked with an emotional tribute event at the Hynes Convention Center. The people killed were remembered, along with the survivors and the first responders. “This day will always be hard,” said former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “It will never be easy to gather so close to that finish line. It will never be easy to be so close to that place where our lives broke apart.

    A few of our employees have run or volunteered at the Marathon in years past, and last year was no exception.  John Drewniak, manager of our Plymouth, MA location, was kind enough share his experience of running last year, as well as his mindset going into this year’s marathon.

    I’ve been running since I was 12 years old. I ran a middle school race and would train with my dad every year for the Turkey Trot.   Last year was my first year running the Boston Marathon. I’d run a few marathons before – I’d done Vermont City a couple of times and the Bay State marathon – but I’ve got a bad knee, so the Boston Marathon was supposed to be my last marathon.

    As I passed the Fenway area during my race, I thought of all the memories I had of watching the race with dad and grandfather. When reaching the final stretch of the race, I was thinking about how excited I was to see all my friends and family at the finish line.

    I finished the race, and saw my family, friends and members of the Sullivan Tire team who were volunteering. We went to go get a beer, and I hugged my mom, and then I saw something go off over my mom’s shoulder while we were celebrating.

    It went from being one of the best days of my life to the scariest.

    After the second explosion went off, it was just chaos.  People were running every which way, colliding with each other. Since I’d just finished running the marathon, I couldn’t really think straight, so I just followed my father, and we started searching for friends and family members.

    This year’s marathon is an important day for the city.  It’s a historic day. It’s about healing, the survivors, and the first responders that stepped up. It’s one of those things where the purpose of the attack was to deter people from racing, but after what happened, there was no question I would run again this year.

    I couldn’t let my experience last year be the way that it ended.

    There are a lot of different thoughts going into this year’s marathon.  I’m running for the people that were injured or killed, and also for the people who are suffering because they were there, and witnessed the bombing.

    Despite the tragedy, you saw the good in people, and that should be celebrated this year.

     

    This year, John is running to raise money for South Shore Hospital. If you’d like to donate to his efforts, please click here.  Mark Sullivan of the Marketing Department, who has run the Boston Marathon in years past, is also raising funds for the South Shore Hospital. His donation page can be found here.

    We are so proud of their dedication and we can’t wait to celebrate with them, and the rest of the city, on Marathon Monday.

  1. Hi, John. I’ll be thinking of you on Monday. I’m sure Alene will be there to cheer you on. Good Luck!!

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