Boston Marathon 2013

Update – I wrote this post Thursday afternoon before knowing about the continued events that are unfolding today. Everyone in the Boston area – please stay safe!

I have tried multiple times to put words around my feelings about what happened in Boston on Monday. But it’s been hard to do. At the same time, it has proven helpful for me, so here are my thoughts on the tragedy.

Having recently moved out of Boston to Ohio, I still feel like Boston is my home. When I meet people here in Cincinnati, I always make a point to say that I just moved here from Boston. I guess the word “just” is relative and at some point, that won’t be part of my introduction. But I don’t know when that will happen.


Marathon Monday has always been my favorite day of the year in Boston. The day is full of magic and inspiration. I have to admit that when I first heard people talking about how great Marathon Monday was, I was skeptical. I didn’t see how standing outside to watch a bunch of runners could stand up to the hype. Then I went to my first Boston Marathon. And I was hooked.

Since we lived near Coolidge Corner, our yearly routine was to hit up Coolidge Corner Clubhouse for some food, a beer, and to watch the elite men and women cross the finish line on the TV. Then we’d head out to the course. We’d start by cheering at Coolidge Corner for a while, always checking our phones to track where people we knew were at on the course. We’d slowly work our way down to the finish line, cheering on the runners and just enjoying the atmosphere that is Marathon Monday in Boston.


One year we went to the Red Sox game. Hubby and I both hated it. We wished we were out with the crowds, high-fiving runners, screaming their names to encourage them, and clapping to cheer them on. That’s exactly what we did once we left Fenway that year.

This year we had planned to fly back to Boston for the weekend and stay for Marathon Monday. With the timing of getting our new house and the expenses associated with that, we decided not to make that trip.

This might sound crazy, but Hubby and I both wish we had been there. Sure, we’re glad that we are safe here in Ohio (I know our parents are too). But processing this tragedy from 1000+ miles away has been difficult to say the least. I found out about the bombing on Facebook Monday afternoon. I instantly starting emailing and texting friends to make sure everyone was safe. Luckily, everyone we talked to was safe, as well as their friends and families. I found someone to cover my Monday night meetings and went home in a daze.


Hubby and I both had a strong desire to be in Boston on Monday night. We felt so helpless here in Ohio. We sat in our living room, listening to WBUR streaming through our computer while reading everything online we could find about the bombings. We’ve seen the Google Document where people offered a place to stay for anyone affected by the marathon. We’ve read the stories about the marathon runners who ran to the hospital to give blood. And the first responders who ran towards the second blast.

The stories go on and on of people in Boston helping others in need. But we can’t help anyone here. I can’t even give my friends a hug. Most people in Cincinnati don’t feel the same sadness, anger, and sheer confusion around the events that took place on Monday. So Hubby and I have been sharing this experience together. But at the same time, we both feel very alone in this new city of ours.


I know that we are pretty lucky in the fact that no one we know got hurt. And I realize that complaining about dealing with the emotions of this attack from far away is nothing in comparison to what some other families are dealing with this week. I wanted to share my feelings and open a discussion for anyone else who loves Boston and hates what happened. Boston is a strong community and the city will make it through this tough time. I have no doubt about that.

Here are some other articles that fellow bloggers have written about the tragedy. If you’ve seen others out there, add the link in the comments.

Fiona from A Boston Food Diary wrote about the Boston community. This post had me in tears and rings so true to the attitude of Bostonians.

My friend Nick is a video game blogger and he lives 3 doors down from the house with the boat where they found Suspect #2. He writes about it on his blog, Applied Gaming.

Kirsten from Cake, Batter, and Bowl wrote about a friend who started fundraising for victims of the attack.

Shannon from Tri to Cook wrote about her experience with the marathon, where she volunteers every year.

Megan from Delicious Dishings wrote about her feelings from Monday.

Brianne from Sweet Cheeks in the Kitchen wrote about her experience on Monday. Her husband ran the race and they were waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory when the bombs went off.

Brianne’s post led to me to her friend Amy’s blog… Amy from The Lawsons did Dallas! also wrote about the experience. She was with Brianne, along with both of their young sons at the time of the explosions.

Kristen from Decorate This! wrote about her experience as a spectator the day of the race. Her husband finished before the bombings, but they weren’t able to get ahold of each other due to spotty service immediately following the tragedy.

And her husband, Jeff from I was Born Ready wrote about his experience as a runner. I love reading stories about marathon runners, they always make me cry. Jeff summarizes his feelings in a very real way that hit home for me.

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19 Responses to “Boston Marathon 2013”

  1. #
    Fiona — April 19, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Thank you so much for sharing Jen! I completely understand where you’re coming from and how you feel…do nice things for yourself

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 8:50 am

      You do the same Fiona

  2. #
    Kristen — April 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. This is UNREAL. My husband Jeff ran the Boston Marathon this year, and I spent the day traveling around on the T watching the marathon with my in-laws. We ended the day just a block from the blast sites – I shared my story here:; Jeff’s story here:

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your and Jeff’s stories. What a day you guys had. I’m glad you’re safe.

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

      I added these links to the body of the post.

  3. #
    Shannon — April 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

    It definitely does help to put some words together. And I feel the same way- even though I was volunteering at the 10k, i can’t help but wonder why wasn’t i volunteering at the finish line so I could’ve helped?

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

      I agree – it was therapeutic to write this up.

  4. #
    Katie L — April 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for sharing Jen. I haven’t lived in Boston for 4 years now, but my husband and I had a similar reaction. We both wanted to get “home” to the city we love, a city that becomes part of your being no matter where you go next.

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

      I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Living in Boston leaves such a strong impression…

  5. #
    Jen — April 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’m a longtime reader, first time commenter. First I want to give you big virtual hugs regarding the events in Boston. Your feelings are no less valid, no less important. My heart goes out to you. Also, I want to say, welcome to Cincinnati! I live east of the city and am a transplant from Seattle. Cincy is growing on me, and slowly but surely I’m starting to tell people that I’m from Ohio not Washington. 🙂 Best wishes to you and thank you for sharing.

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      Jen – thanks so much for commenting. I realize that at some point I’ll say I’m from Ohio, but the events of this week just my my heart tied even tighter to Boston…

  6. #
    Jene — April 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I’m so glad all of your Boston people are safe. I can completely relate to your feelings of helplessness, I felt the same way after 9/11. It’s hard to be away from family and friends and a city that you love when tragedy strikes.

    Big hugs for you and your crew.

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      Thanks Jene. I’m sure it’s very similar to how you felt around 9/11.

  7. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — April 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I feel the same way–Boston was my home for four years of college. I love that city. I feel like it is MY city. I wish I was there, locked in with friends, watching the news and hugging them. I feel so helpless on the other side of the state, so far away.

    As soon as I’m able I’m going to the city and having a moment in the Common before heading to all my favorite places. My heart aches for the city, I wish I was there.

    • beantownbaker — April 19th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way. We are trying to make plans to get back to the city sometime soon as well.

  8. #
    Kathy — April 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Oh I so know how you feel.. I live in Michigan. I’ve been here for almost 10 years, and I still call Boston home. It’ll always be home to me. You’re not alone!

    • beantownbaker — April 21st, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I definitely think Boston will always feel like home to both me and Hubby.

  9. #
    VTHokie — April 22, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I know exactly how you feel – I am a 2004 graduate of Virginia Tech. I was at work when the April 16th incident happened in Blacksburg, and I felt SO far away, and SO hopeless – the only place I wanted to be was in my beloved Blacksburg.

    To make matters worse, I flew to Missouri the next day (for work) for 3.5 weeks. It seemed that the people out there had ALREADY moved on from the tragedy – it just made NO sense to me. I cried most of those 3 weeks, and since I was out there by myself it was a struggle.

    I have always loved Boston, and I know that that community will love and support one another, just as Blacksburg did (and still does). It was the sixth anniversary this past Tuesday, and with everything happening in Boston, and the thoughts of VT and Blacksburg, it was an extremely long and tiring week.

    Stay strong.

    • beantownbaker — April 22nd, 2013 @ 11:46 am

      That sounds like a horrible situation for you in the aftermath of the VTech tragedy. Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your story.

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