Boston Marathon runners return to collect bags, surprised by medals

Kim Berlygrauer, of Chicago, grips her 117th Boston Marathon Medal after it was unexpectedly handed over yesterday. PHOTO CREDIT: MORGAN ROUSSEAU
Kim Berlygrauer, of Chicago, grips her 117th Boston Marathon Medal. Credit: Morgan Rousseau

Runners from across the United States ventured back into Boston’s Back Bay on Tuesday, facing grim memories from Monday’s brutal Boston Marathon bombings, to retrieve bags, keys and cell phones left behind during the attack’s chaotic aftermath.

But they emerged from the Park Plaza Castle with more than they expected – the medals they had earned the day before, but were unable to collect at the doomed finish line.

“I didn’t know that was coming. I told my dad before he passed that the medal was his. I hugged a stranger. I’m very happy to be bringing this home to him,” said Chicago resident Kim Berlygrauer.

Security stood guard outside the meeting space, which since Monday night has acted as a shelter and meeting area for displaced runners and residents. The Boston Athletic Association handed out the medals and sorted through abandoned belongings, and American Red Cross workers assisted those in need.

Media was not permitted within the center, but as people in blue and yellow shirts emerged it was clear that the spirit inside was one of hope and healing.

“It’s nice. Obviously under the circumstances it’s the best that can be done,” said Massachusetts resident Mitch Riesenberger, who was ordered to stop running less than a mile from the finish line.

“I’m already thinking about next year,” he said. “It means more now than ever.”

Reflecting on chaos, tragedy

Jeannie Hannigan.
Jeannie Hannigan.

“I was stopped at mile 25. It was kind of heartbreaking. … I just wanted to keep going because I was having a really good race until then. This year I was going for it; I knew I had it. It was shocking. I wish everyone would have been able to finish, but I’m glad that I have it.” — Jeannie Hannigan, of Keene, N.H., on collecting her medal despite being forced to abandon the race.

Mitch Riesenberger
Mitch Riesenberger.

“To be honest with you, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel. You get to that point and it’s all you’re waiting (for). That adrenaline and the euphoria that you feel went right out the window.” — Hopkinton resident Mitch Riesenberger on not finishing the race.

Blake Windsor, husband of Juli Windsor.
Blake Windsor, husband of Juli Windsor.

”I’m going to surprise her with it later tonight. We happened to be driving by. We had no idea this was here. … We pulled over and heard they were giving out the medals so we grabbed one. She was going under the Massachusetts Avenue bridge when they flagged her off. She was going to break her personal best.” — Blake Windsor of Boston on retrieving his wife Juli Windsor’s medal. Juli is a dwarf who was profiled by The Boston Globe for being one of two dwarfs to run this year.

Kim Berlygrauer, of Chicago, grips her 117th Boston Marathon Medal after it was unexpectedly handed over yesterday. PHOTO CREDIT: MORGAN ROUSSEAU
Kim Berlygrauer.

“It was better than any medal you could ever get. I reunited with them in Boston Common. … There were tears. It was the greatest sight to see all of them. I thought I lost my loved ones.” — Chicago resident Kim Berlygrauer on finding her family members, who were near the finish line. She went on to describe Tuesday’s mood, saying, “The running community, no matter what city you’re in, it’s always very close. I do believe today is a little more optimistic. I think that everybody knows what everyone else has been through. So there is that camaraderie there.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…