Boston, stronger than ever, runs as one at 2014 Boston Marathon

Thousands gathered in Boston for the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Thousands gathered in Boston for the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Under perfect skies Monday, amid the cheers and smiles of roughly one million people, Boston took back its marathon.

Brian Lashinksi’s eyes were alive with tremendous joy and passion as he slowed to a walk after the Boylston Street finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon, waving to spectators and shouting “Boston Strong.”

“I feel fantastic. I have never been more proud to be a part of any race in my entire life,” said Lashinski, a Minneapolis resident who trained in 20-below temperatures to prepare for yesterday’s race.

“Towards the end I just kept going. I didn’t even keep an eye on my pace. I wanted to make this the greatest race of my life,” said Lashinski.

Spectators on the sidelines kept their enthusiasm up throughout the day. As runners pushed their way through the final stretch, cheers, bells and applause bellowed into the Boston air.

“It’s been like that the whole way,” New Jersey runner Bill Washer said of the crowd. “It was awesome. It was definitely motivating. Towards the end, you just didn’t want to stop.”

Michelle Johnson-Houghton of Grand Rapids, Mich. was one of those supporters. She eagerly awaited her nephew’s arrival at the finish line.

“It’s hard to believe anything bad ever happened here. It’s such a beautiful event. This has always been such an uplifting race. People support it with their hearts and souls,” she said. “I wouldn’t miss this, and I’ll be back for more.”

East Boston resident Kimberly Haley said she trained all year, but was unable to get a number.

“And if you can’t run, the next best thing you can do is show up, and support everyone else that runs. Today has made me want it even more. I’m just hungrier for it,” said Haley, admonishing the suspects of last year’s fatal marathon bombing.

“How dare somebody take that away from millions of people,” said Haley. “The only way to rise above that is to come right back, and pour into that loving, supportive environment again.”

A marathoner savors the moment as he crosses the Boylston Street finish line. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
A marathoner savors the moment as he crosses the Boylston Street finish line. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

But for some, the day’s unbridled brightness was darkened by memories of last year’s tragedy.

Kristin Woodward of Washington D.C. stood on St. James Avenue, wrapped in a shiny thermal blanket. Her face, streaked with dried salt, peering over the crowds in search of her husband.

“It was hard, physically and emotionally. Truly, I was hurting a lot. All I could think about was the little boy who was killed,” Woodward said of 8-year-old Martin Richard, her voice breaking, tears welling in her eyes.

“I just kept thinking, ‘He’s never going to get to run around and play again, so you have to keep going.’”

But that sadness didn’t inhibit Woodward’s resolve: “It gave me a purpose. Every time I run a marathon I ask myself, ‘Why do this to yourself?’ but with this one, there was a reason behind every step.”

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



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…