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Strength from a symbol: The Boston Marathon through the eyes of one runner

May 15, 2013

IMG_1744sm.jpg blog

A medal is usually thought of as a symbol of an achievement earned, a victory won, or a personal accomplishment.

Yet, it never really occurred to me that a medal could also symbolize all the thousands of supporters who make an event so special.

My name is Kevin Christie and I’m a native Bostonian. I’ve been with FedEx as a proud courier for 26 years, and I’m a runner.

I’m fortunate enough to have finished this year’s Boston Marathon before the bombs went off. I heard about the senseless attack on the way home, and the first thing I thought was that I ran past those spectators who were hurt and killed. They probably cheered for me. It’s a terrible thought, but I’ll never forget them.

In many ways, distance runners get our strength from all of the smiling people lining the route, the cheering spectators encouraging us to dig deep and push to the next step, the next mile. They are our inspiration. Without the wonderful spectators, any marathon would be no different from a jog in the park.

The Boston Marathon was my 8th marathon, and 2013 was the 4th time that I’ve had the honor of finishing the Boston Marathon. To every marathon runner, the finisher medal is sacred, but this year’s Boston medal will always be deeply treasured.

This year’s Boston Marathon medal will always symbolize the brightness of the human spirit. It will symbolize the kind hearts of runners from around the world. It will symbolize recovery and resilience.

Boston Marathon finisher medals prepped for shipmentI know that every time I look at the medal from this race, I’ll be particularly reminded of the faces of all those who were there that day to support friends, family, and co-workers.  To each of you who were there this year and especially to those who selflessly went to the aid of those who were injured – Thank You.

You’ll see me there next year, running the race that I love, in front of the city that I so dearly cherish.

*Note: FedEx is honored to donate shipment of finisher medals all over the world to over 2,000 Boston Marathon 2013 runners who were unable to finish the race or receive their medals before the attack.

 

Comments

    Linda in Georgia USA says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Loved it! Even in the darkest time the light will shine through and prevail. The true bright human spirit is more powerful than any dark opposing forces.

    Cindy Curry says:

    Awesome story about the true grit of FedEx employees and their real spirit for humanity!

    john fiore says:

    well said Kevin! keep running my friend!

    Moises Resenos says:

    Kevin, I admire you and the Bostonian spirit that never gives up.

    Angel says:

    Very well written article. Love the picture of the medals. Never stop running Kevin!

    Holly says:

    Your story is inspiring and written from your heart. Congratulations on completing the race. I admire and support your determination and spirit. May you continue to shine.

    Pat says:

    So very proud of you a co-worker.. regardless that I’m in Canada.. I’m proud of you and like some have said.. never stop running.. Kudo’s and Bravo Zulu from me to you !!

    Edward Solano Jr says:

    Great story Kevin. Proud to be your co-worker. But Prouder to be your friend.

    Jack Reardon says:

    Proud to work beside you my friend!!! Great article, very inspiring for all of us!!

    Laurent gaulier says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Kevin. Runners from this side of the Atlantic know what you mean!
    Keep it running, we’re all with you!

    Luis R. Herrera says:

    Kevin,we are Proud of you here at GDMA…
    Bravo Zulu from all of us…

    afsana parvin says:

    Your spirit of humanatarian gave us the challege to fight against these inhumane people.Love your Challenging entusiasm. Salute you……

    Jeff McIntosh says:

    Kevin, thank you for your story, it inspired me even more. As a fellow FedEx employee and runner, I was there with you. My leg gave up on me a third of the way through, maybe a blessing. This was my first Boston but not my last. I will be back to finish this race. We will gather together, runners and spectators alike, to show our resolve. Good will always prevail!

    John Bartlett says:

    Kevin, what a great story. Thanks for taking the time to share it with everyone. Congratulations on your finish in 3 hours and 50 seconds.

    Sharron Clear says:

    Kevin, thanks for sharing your story. As a runner, fitness enthusiast and aspiring Boston Marathon runner… I was truly touched by your story. Take care…

    Ruby Creary says:

    May God Continue to bless you Kevin. Thank you for beautiful story.

    Lynn Henry says:

    Outstanding and great job Kevin! It is moments and events like this that make me so proud to be an American and a Fedex employee!!!!

    Brian Kidder says:

    Great job Kevin keep on running!

    Wanda Lanier says:

    GREAT STORY, Kevin! Thanks for Takin’ Care of Business in Boston!!!! You are the kind of person that has made FedEx the great company that we are today. BZ to you!

    Darlene Casey says:

    Dear Kevin,
    I was so moved from the first line of your story to the last line. You could not be any more on your game stating a Finisher Medal is sacred but this medal holds…
    Recovery and Resilience and selfless acts of kindness. Here at the Boston ramp our Team name for all fund raising events is..
    FedEx Boston Team R.A.K. ( Random Acts of Kindness) and OUR TEAM SALUTES YOU!
    May you run STRONGER every year.
    Our Kindest regards,
    Darlene Casey and Team R.A.K.

    James Christie says:

    I am blessed to have four brothers that I love. Kevin is one of my brother and I am so proud of him. I’m not surprised by your ability to say so much and so well. You are an amazing athlete. You are an amazing brother. You are an amazing influence on others. You are a true American. I am so thankful that your speed guided you safely past the explosion sites prior to the horror that followed. Terrorism, regardless of its’ root will always be dealt with by the American people and will never be allowed to go unpunished. I hope I can be there next year to cheer you on and watch you break that 3 hour goal. It will happen! Love you brother.

    Amandalin Ryan says:

    Fantastic story, thank you!

    Samuel says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    I salute your determination and even more when you gone beyond your own marathon to fulfill the memories of many others.

    I am a runner myself and it is very true that the cheers and claps along the route always fires us up. And that these kind souls had to experience the senseless attack in this event stuns many in the circle.

    Our hearts goes out to them and their loved ones. Thank you FedEx for delivering the medals.

    Ladona Lawson says:

    Thank you Kevin for your story. As a fellow FedEx employee and a runner who was also at this years boston marathon, I feel your sentiments. Unfortunately, I was less than a half mile from the finish line when the bombs went off. At that moment the medal was not important. But when my fellow courier delivered my medal yesterday, it felt like I had finally finished! I will be back next year for my 7th Boston marathon!

    Dennis Pewsey says:

    The FEDEX delivery was a special thrill …thanks for delivering the medal…I did not realize how much it meant till I actually held it in my hands.

    Leslie in Canada says:

    Great story Kevin!! I was one of the runners who did not finish – I was just past the 26 mile marker. My medal just arrived here in Calgary, and your fellow Fedex employee congratulated me on it.

    Thank-you Fedex for helping bring a little closure to this tragic event.

    And Kevin, see you at the finish in 2014!!

    Christina Constantino says:

    As part of the Fedex team I am proud to know we helped deliver medals to the runners that didnt get the experience of crossing the finish line and receiving their medal at that time. Congratulations on your finish Kevin and for sharing your story. I have confidence that with the support and cheering of the fans at next years race you will break that 3hr goal.

    Don C says:

    Kevin, thanks for sharing your inspiring story and for making the FedEx team proud..You are a classic example of “Boston Strong” BZ!!

    Angela Harris says:

    Fabulous Story Kevin! Being a runner and a FedEx employee, makes me more thankful for runners and FedEx employees like you. To be a runner, a medal at the end of the race is the be all end all. For some people it is more important than the time! A sense of accomplishment is a great feeling when receiving that medal.

    Great Job and Well done courier!!

    Bob McKinley says:

    Kevin, an amazing recap of a day that you will never forget. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the tragedy but more importantly your inspirational thoughts that go far beyond this day and embodied a spirit that shows you are truly Boston Strong

    hina from Japan says:

    I was one of the runners who did not finish.
    It was my fifth Boston Marathon and the first one I did not finish among more than 20 marathons.
    I’ve just received a medal just now. Thanks FedEx for delivering it!
    See you at Copley in 2014. I will be back.

    Rory says:

    Thank you Kevin for sharing the depth of your strength and emotional experience. So much was taken from all the runners, participants, volunteers and spectators at that tragic moment, but evil will never prevail and love conquers all.

    Bonnie says:

    Kevin, I am so very proud of you and what you have written here in this blog! Love from your sister, Bonnie

    Dan Duggan says:

    Kevin,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences from that dreadful day in BOS. As a runner I can relate to the idea that we get our strength from all the volunteers and spectators along the race courses and finish lines. It’s what helps make the training days all worthwhile. As a fellow FedEx employee, I’m proud we had a small part in the healing process by delivering medals to those who did not receive them on the day of the race. It’s another example of our wonderful culture and the Purple Promise. Kevin you make us all proud. Good luck next year.

    MayLyn says:

    It is such a wonderful honor to be able to read this story, and to realize that FedEx played a special part in delivering the medal! This is such a great story! Thank you for sharing!

    Laura Maciariello says:

    Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your story! I followed the whole Boston story start to finish as my brother is a iron man/marathoner who runs the Boston Marathon nearly every year. He elected to compete in a different marathon, hence wasn’t in Boston, but I still felt a connection to all the people involved. Bravo Zulu to you, and to FedEx for donating, for providing the symbol of accomplishment, of rising above the tragedy and helping heal.

    eleanor pulisciano says:

    WAY TO GO KEVIN SO PROUD OF YOU!…INSPIRING STORY TO READ FRM RUNNER’S VIEWPOINT…GOOD LUCK KNOW YOU WILL DO GREAT NXT YEAR’S MARATHON…

    Bob miles says:

    It was wonderful to read your inspirational story as a retired FedEx employee you help to remind me of many of the things we did and do for others

    Bernadette Corrado says:

    Well done and well said! Thank you for being a great representative of all that Boston and FedEx stand for. BZ.

    Nancy-BOS says:

    KEVIN, GREAT STORY!!!!!! KEEP ON TRUCKING & RUNNING!!!! NANCY-BOS RAMP

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