Crossing the Finish Line - (Stacia Naquin)

By: Stacia Naquin
By: Stacia Naquin

Crossing the finish line is such an awesome moment. It's hard to imagine what it has been like for the runners in Boston.

 

Big cheers, high fives… and the best smiles around. From my family!
 
That’s what I remember about crossing the finish line in my very first half-marathon. I trained for months to be able to run those 13.1 miles. It was pouring rain and freezing that morning. And my family came anyway.
 
For anyone who has run in a race and met family and friends at the finish line… watching the news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings hits hard.
 
Your family and friends have watched you train. They know how hard you’ve worked. They want to be there to see when you meet your goal and complete that race! Maybe your loved ones trained alongside you and ran in the race as well! I had a big group of friends run with me last year at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Run to the Shrine.
 
As you can see from the pics below… having that support group waiting for me at the finish line helped me push through the last of the race. It’s kind of the best part. Celebrating your success with your favorite people!!
 
 
 
It’s scary and shocking to think of anything bad happening during a moment like that.
 
We were talking about that this week. Some of the gals on the morning show are BIG TIME runners.  One of them even ran in the Boston Marathon a few years ago. Here are their favorite moments of crossing the finish line:
 
Lindsey Grewe, KKTV Web Producer:
 
 
My dad is my biggest fan.  From middle school track meets to college cross country, 5Ks to half-marathons, my dad is the one constant at every race.  He was all I could think about while watching the coverage yesterday. 
 
Races have been where I’ve had great accomplishments and—recalling one race ON MY 17th BIRTHDAY where I received the pity clap for being last—some pretty cringe-worthy moments.  But whether a good or bad race, it’s always been a place where I have felt safe. 
 
The Boston Marathon is a special race that not everyone gets to do.  In most cases you have to meet a qualifying standard, and even then that doesn’t guarantee you a spot if the race sells out.  Yesterday should have been the pinnacle of many runners’ marathon career, the fruits of all those weeks, months, years of labor.  As a human being, I am devastated by the tragedy...as a runner, I feel so sad that this moment of triumph now has an ugly mark on it.  The runners that didn’t get to finish yesterday because of an evil act…I feel so bad that their hard work and sacrifice was ripped away from them in a single moment.
 
Going back to my dad, knowing that the bulk of those injured or killed were there cheering on their loved ones…that’s the image I can’t get out of my head.  I think of him so excited at the finish line to see me sprint in, rehash how I did or ask me “what the heck happened???”  So many of those wounded or killed were waiting on their loved ones to come in so that they could have the post-race moment my dad and I always share.  Everything about yesterday is tragic, but that’s the part I relate to most. 
 
Here's a picture of Lindsey and her running buddy, Joel. Her entire family was there that day as well, including her dad.
 
 
 
Kristin Haubrich, KKTV 11 News Reporter:
 
 
I double knot the laces on my racing flats.  I glance down to make sure my race number is safety-pinned securely to my shirt.  I shake my legs out to stay warm and to calm my nerves.   I’m excited to be elbow to elbow with runners from all across the United States and the world.  Together we are corralled before the start line like an enormous herd of wild horses.  I clear my stopwatch and exhale.  This is it.  The historic Boston Marathon!  We step up to the line – poised and ready for the crack of the starter gun to launch us on this 26.2  mile race together. 
 
My memories of racing the Boston Marathon in April of 2009 are still very vivid.  I can see that last mile stretch on Boylston Street. The sidewalks were lined w people cheering and shouting for everyone - a blur of smiling faces- a continuous roar of encouragement bringing us in.  I remember the enormous thrill of raising my arms up in triumph as I crossed that finish line.  My mom qualified in her age group to run this marathon too, and we traveled together all the way from Minnesota to race in it.  It was really special to have her there, and I switched in that moment from racer to fan cheering for strangers as strangers had cheered for me while I waited for my mom. What an accomplishment to see, share, and celebrate together!
 
Every race of every distance has its heros, but there is something special about the sheer determination required in a marathon.  I was overwhelmed and inspired many times that day witnessing runners there, young and old, who all shared that same mental toughness.  We conquered the “heartbreak hills” and pushed through the pain when our legs felt like jelly.  I'll always remember the massive crowds cheering us home.  There was so much love and happiness there.
 
When I heard about the tragedy at this year's finish line, my heart broke. That special moment was shattered by this senseless crime.  There’s a quote going around Facebook right now that resonates with me:  “If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit – marathoners are the wrong group to target.” - Mighty Brighties group. 
 
 
If you're a runner, we'd love for you to share your thoughts and stories about crossing the finish line.
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