On Monday, Newton residents Jack Prior and Rus Lodi got to finish the Boston Marathon journeys they began more than a year ago.
Prior was running to support “Running for Rare Diseases” last year in honor of his niece, Brianna Bernard, who was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia at age 2. He had worked hard to get his weight down from a peak of 237 pounds, to 215 pounds before training, to 195 in time for the 2013 Marathon.
He made it 25.5 miles when he was stopped – along with thousands of other runners – within a mile of the finish line after two bombs went off on Boylston Street and sent the city into chaos.
As an expected finisher, he received a medal for his efforts, and gave it to Brianna.
This year, he decided to come back and earn one for himself.
He raised $6,400 for the National Organization for Rare Diseases – after raising $4,000 last year – and on Monday completed his journey for a matching medal to go with Brianna’s.
“It was nice to get closure on last year after that was unfathomable in so many ways,” he said, “through everything that happened to everyone, and for me personally being so close and not being able to finish.”
He did finish this year, but not without some pain. He said he tried to go out faster than last year, but paid for it in the final five miles where he was forced to walk for stretches due to throbbing legs.
“Once I knew I was going to finish this year,” he said, “I decided it didn’t matter if I did it in 4 hours, 10 minutes, 4:15, 4:20. I just wanted to finish.”
Prior said he made the decision to wear a shirt with his name on it, and one of his memories of the race will be how many people called out to him during his run.
“It was just amazing to hear that,” he said, “even later in the race when I just wanted to walk, everyone kept encouraging me.”
Lodi also got to finish what he started last year. A bandit runner in the 2013 race, Lodi spent an emotional and surreal afternoon trying to find his wife, who was waiting near the finish line, and daughter, who was also running, in Boston after the bombs went off. When his daughter, Hannah, received an official number due to also being stopped last year, he ran with her charity number and raised more than $10,000 to fight homelessness.
“My lasting memory of 2014 Boston Marathon will be running down Boylston Street and seeing scores of people jammed together in front of The Forum Restaurant, where the second bomb exploded last year,” said Lodi, who finished in 4 hours, 57 minutes. “Even though they closed Boylston Street to spectators early in the day, I think people who were there made it a point to stand in front The Forum. The crowd control fence bowed out into the street, there were so many people standing there.
Article courtesy of http://newton.wickedlocal.com/article/20140423/SPORTS/140428576
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