On April 15, 2013, I was sitting alone on a curb on Boylston Street waiting for the amazing participants of the Boston Marathon to run past me and cross the finish line. I had gone out to Boston to watch my friend complete the race. I had a great spot right before the finish line, and for hours I cheered with strangers who became my friends that day.
After I saw my friend pass me I stayed in my coveted location to continue to cheer on the loved ones of my new friends until something in my gut told me to leave and make my way to the family meeting place where I could congratulate my friend. That unplanned decision made a huge difference in my life.
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Twenty minutes after I left my spot I heard a loud noise that was followed by a second noise. The ground shook and smoke filled the air, and I was surround by the sound of sirens. Later that day I saw a map of where the bombs were located. They were on both sides of where I was standing -- where I had said goodbye to my new friends.
Before that day I had no desire to ever run a marathon. I did not even consider myself a runner. That day made me a runner. It gave me the strength and perseverance that runners have. Now, at age 28, I can proudly say I will be running my first marathon -- the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21. I am running for charity, and I am running to take back the finish line. I am a runner and will forever hold the events of April 15, 2013, with me on every run.