Opinion

Still running a year after Boston

Updated 2:40 PM ET, Mon April 14, 2014
Share
Run for Boston Anusha MookherjeeRun for Boston Anusha Mookherjee
1 of 11
CNN asked our iReporters to pledge to run a marathon, or shorter race, before the 1-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. "The bombings reminded so many of us why we enjoy running, and that these violent acts can't shake and define a city like Boston," said Anusha Mookherjee, who grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. She was inspired to run the Boston Athletic Association 10K -- her first road race -- and a half-marathon. She continues to run three times a week. Courtesy Anusha Mookherjee
"I wanted to run for those that can't run anymore," said Boston resident Ashley Seymour. She was standing near the Boston Marathon finish line when the first bomb went off. She had been a runner all her life, but hadn't done a race since tearing her ACL in 2011. Running became part of her emotional healing process. Since the bombings, she has run a 10K and a half-marathon. Courtesy Ashley Seymour
"I couldn't go home, and I couldn't go to work, so other than watching cable news 24/7, I had running," said Mark Giannetti, left, who lived and worked within a block of each bomb. He and his friend, Jess, right, ran a 5K and 10K race together last year. He's training for a half-marathon. Courtesy Mark Giannetti
"So much blood, sweat and tears go into preparing for and racing a marathon and to have the fruit of your labor snatched away in such an evil manner haunted me," said Jennifer Kirkpatrick, right, from Bonham, Texas. At the time of the bombings, she had recently run her first half-marathon. She ran another half-marathon in support of the victims and plans to run the Dallas marathon this year. Courtesy Jennifer Kirkpatrick
Terry Moorhead of Phoenix did not plan to run another marathon -- this was his sixth -- but after the bombings, "I I felt compelled to do at least one more. I think about how lucky I am to be able to run, and I will never take it for granted." He proudly wore a Boston Strong shirt for the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in January 2014. Courtesy Terry Moorhead
"Running has been a stress relief for me, but this year meant a little more," said Boston resident Gina Berrettoni, who knew several people who were running last year's Boston Marathon. Thankfully, none of her friends were injured. She has run several races since the attack, including a 10K, a half-marathon and a relay. Courtesy Gina Berrettoni
"The running community is one of the most supportive, nonjudgmental and uplifting I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of," said Heather Nees, left, of Chesterfield, Virginia. Since pledging to "Run for Boston," she has completed two 5K's and an 8K, with another 5K coming up. Courtesy Heather Nees
"The tight muscles -- the little aches and pains -- remind me that I'm alive," said Lori Brainard of Washington. She started running in 2004, but had been on a hiatus. Brainard, who grew up in Somerville, Massachusetts, signed up for her first race after the Boston Marathon bombing. Courtesy Lori Brainard
"I wanted to do something after the bombings, but didn't know what I could do," said runner Robyn Parker, right, of New Hampshire. She was inspired to break her every-other-year marathon schedule. She ran the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon in November alongside her daughter, Meredith. Courtesy Robyn Parker
"I am still not a strong runner, but I knew I had to finish this race to honor all the people affected by the Boston tragedy," said Ezra Mueller, right, who ran the 25 kilometer "Big Berlin" race in Germany in May with a "Run for Boston" on her back. "With the support of the other runners loudly cheering me on. I dragged myself across the finish." Courtesy Ezra Mueller
"Like so many runners, after that day, I felt helpless, betrayed and full of emotion," said Agata Jasniewski from Massapequa Park, New York. She was already planning to run the Chicago Marathon in 2013, but after the bombing it became "more than a race," she said. Courtesy Agata Jasniewski