Three Tri-Cities women are set to return to the Boston Marathon one year after the bombings stopped them from finishing.
TRI-CITIES, WA – Three Tri-Cities women are set to return to the Boston Marathon one year after the bombings stopped them from finishing.
Darris Griffith, Susan Brain and Judy Bell say it is time to finish what they started. When they left Boston last year they explained it felt like a warzone. On Monday they will return to a city only strengthened by that day.
Immediately after the explosion Griffith said thoughts raced through her head. "What do I do? What's going on? Where do I go? I hope my friends are ok."
The women say it changed their lives. They did not finish last year's Marathon. In a way they are glad they ran the pace they did.
"From me being late to the finish line, to me walking at every water stop," Griffith explained every step she took and every step she did not take led to today.
"I started walking cause my legs started hurting and I was just really tired and I knew that when I saw the video that I could have been there and I wasn't. It wasn't meant for me to be there."
"It was just like Jello had been poured down the course and everybody just kind of slowed down and stopped," said Brain. She started texting her friend Judy, but Judy left her phone with her husband.
"My first thought was for my husband. He was at the finish line waiting for me," said Bell.
He was safe, but he said the images he had seen were unimaginable. Somehow in the middle of the chaos Bell and her husband found each other.
"We embraced and thanked god."
For each of them this marathon Monday is an unforgettable life moment.
"My intention in Boston this year is to really pay attention to the present moment. It's a gift," said Brain.
This year they say nothing is stopping them from that finish line. It is their way to remember those lost and honor the injured who fell just a mile away from where they finished their race.
Brain explained, "Our job is to go back and finish for them because that completes the circle."
"Every mile is an emotional marker,” said Bell. “You wonder why you couldn't have gone faster and then you think, was there a purpose in this?"
"It's going to be an amazing celebration and healing time for us, that we deserve," said Griffith.
Organizers of the event have welcomed anyone who ran the marathon last year to return without having to even qualify.
If there is one thing the Tri-Cities women are excited about it is the people they will see. Those same strangers who came out with blankets and food and of course the other runners. They hope for a day of uniting for celebration and healing.