I’ve always had a very deep and meaningful connection with running.
It carried me throughout my middle school, high school, college and post-college years; it's followed me even up to this very day.
When I was younger, I always dreamed of working for "Runner’s World Magazine." I understood the relationship other people had with running was similar to the relationship I had.
It’s a sport that affects people on an emotional level, and it inspires, empowers and unifies individuals across the globe. It holds no barriers across cultures or languages because it is the same in every country.
Upon my college graduation in 2012, my dream came true, and I was hired to work for "Runner’s World Magazine."
I was so proud to work for and represent a company whose readers highly regarded it.
It gave me the courage to run marathons myself, which is something I accomplished during my time at "Runner’s World."
On April 15, 2013, one of the most prestigious marathons in the world took place: the Boston Marathon.
In the past, I’ve typically traveled for work to help with our activation in various marathons, such as the Marine Corps Marathon or Big Sur Marathon.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t scheduled to attend The Boston Marathon that year.
The majority of my colleagues, including my boss, were all in attendance. I was one of the very few left behind.
Like any other running super fan, I tuned my computer on to the live reporting of the race while I was at work that morning.
The first gun went off for the Elite Men and Women, and the other waves then followed one by one.
Aside from my coworkers physically attending the Boston Marathon, many of them were running in the race that day.
I kept tabs on some of my friends and coworkers and tracked them online. I kept thinking about what an amazing experience it was to be joined by runners from all over the globe with the cheering crowds.
It was practically a holiday for Boston schools in the area: Students would skip class, celebrate in the streets and cheer for the thousands of runners passing by.
As I continued to watch the race from my desk, I pictured the faces of the sea of runners as they crossed that finish line.
Then, it happened.
Headlines stating a bomb had exploded during the race showed up on every news medium, as well as across social media.
At work, several of my coworkers ran outside of their offices in a panic, and we all watched the live reporting in silence and shock.
I received email upon email with the subject line, “Emergency." An email chain was created to make sure anyone who was in Boston that day was safe and well.
Everyone responded assuring they were okay.
It was one of the most terrifying and disheartening moments of my life.
After what had happened at the New York City Marathon on November 4, 2012, I couldn’t believe another crisis was occurring only a few months later. It was a tragic year in the world of running. It affected not only runners, but people everywhere.
Endless stories funneled in through our editors, and the outcome was extraordinary.
Despite how horrifying these events were, the running community was stronger and more united than ever.
It’s always a miracle to see how people can rebuild during moments of tragedy.
It gives me (and hopefully the rest of the world) faith that we, as humans, can rise above and conquer any catastrophe, whether it’s a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.
As we recognize this day, two years later, we must remember those who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, and we must remember we can overcome.