Cheryl Marner was a mile from the finish line at last year’s Boston Marathon when all of the runners in front of her suddenly stopped.
The race had come to a halt, and at the time, she didn’t know why.
“There was a lot of confusion,” she said. “I heard a lot of sirens.”
Slowly, she and the runners around her pieced together what had happened. Two bombs went off near the race’s finish line.
She later found out those bombs killed three people and injured more than 250 others.
That could have been her, she said.
Marner injured her hamstring before the marathon and was running a bit slower than she normally does.
“My injury kept me behind the tragedy,” she said. “I didn’t see anything. It turned out to be a blessing.”
It would take her four hours to get back to her hotel after the bombs hit. It was chaos around her, and everyone was afraid, she said.
Marner wouldn’t say anything more about that day, though. It wasn’t her story to tell, she said. We should be talking about those who were hurt or died in the blast, she said.
“What I went through was nothing compared to what they went through,” she said.
Marner is headed back to Boston this week to run in Monday’s marathon, which just happens to fall on her 55th birthday.
It will be her sixth time to run in Boston.
“There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing on my birthday,” she said. “I want to run in honor of the victims. I want to go back and cross the finish line for them.”
Marner has spent the last six months training for the race. She’d run four or five miles a day, five days a week and then run eight to 10 miles on the weekend.