A Second Chanche
by Espe Del Pozo
I was there, April 15th, 2013. I was on Boylston Street at the Boston Marathon finish line. My eyes, my ears, and my heart couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.
I left home early in the morning with one thought in my head, “this year I want to see the elite runners crossing the finish line.” I’ve been advised to be there early to have a good spot, and so I did. My friend Nancy and I arrived around 7:45 am.
Besides to see the elite runners, I went to cheer for Eva Garcia, a Mexican friend who was running for the very first time this amazing race.
Nancy and I got a really good spot close enough to the finish line (just about 9 feet away from the place where the second explosion happened, but we didn’t know then). I clearly remember that only when the elite runners were approaching the finish line, extra policemen came by the fences. As soon as the elite group had finished, the policeman went away.
Nancy and I kept waiting for Eva. [Her goal was to finish it in 3h and 30min, but it took her longer because she was injured]. After been standing for about 5 hours in the same spot, we saw Eva!!! When she saw us back, smiled at us, waved and continued running towards the finish line. It was time to go home.
We took our stuff, made a quick stop at the Starbucks and started to walk towards “The Pru” (Prudential Center). Eva crossed the finish line around 4:07, and the first blast was around 4:09… *Boom* Nancy and I weren’t sure what was going on when we heard that first blast. Most of the marathoners kept running, and all of us turned to look back at the finish line, where the blast came from. *Boom * A second blast! We were just a few feet away from it… I was totally paralyzed, so Nancy took my hand and made me run. People were running and screaming; Nancy and I followed the crowd and got into a building. We waited a few minutes (which felt like hours), and when we were sure there were no more explosions, we came out.
The rest, we all know the rest…
Finally, I had to walk back home because there was no public transportation. On my way I found a lot of marathoners that couldn’t finish. They were cold, confused, and they couldn’t get their things back. Everything was a mess. We also found other runners that did finish but were in shock, and some of them needed to call their families to tell them they were okay.
I know the true meaning of “Boston strong”. I was there… I was angry and scared, I was in shock, but I also witnessed how strong this city can be if people stay together.
Thank God I walked away from that spot where the second bomb exploded. Just a few minutes more, and my life could have been different; unfortunately, innocent people didn’t have same chances as me. This experience means a second chance to me, and I’m not the same person after April 15th.
Here are some videos I took after the bombings; I videotape and some pictures.
http://youtu.be/9ajcMG8aHA8 (a few minutes after the blasts)
http://youtu.be/7IWlGhADF8c ( at Newbury street)
http://youtu.be/xS9cNSyPObo (runners who couldn’t finish)
Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/36pyhwxu1kgz83k/z4KiVWCcHf (feel free to download them, I will remove these pictures after a month)