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