EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 29, 2013

My story: A memorable day for all the wrong reasons

Editor’s note: North Andover resident Meghan O’Donnell ran the 117th Boston Marathon with her friend, Tara Crow, of Methuen, raising money for Cystic Fibrosis. O’Donnell sent us her personal account from the Boston Marathon, including the pain and disappointment that went with it.

My friend, Tara Crow, and I were running the marathon for the Mass General Cystic Fibrosis Clinic.

As we approached the “1 mile to go” sign, I saw my boyfriend in the crowd (my whole family was set to meet us near the finish line, at the intersection of Hereford and Boylston Streets, as we have done in years past). My boyfriend called us over to the side to tell us there was an explosion at the finish line, and that we were going to be re-routed and finish somewhere else.

Tara and I were in the zone, so we just kept running and I told him we would meet him straight ahead.

Only a few seconds later, my parents started screaming my name from the crowd as they ran from the Kenmore Square T stop. They were on the T heading to the finish line when the T stopped and forced everyone to evacuate.

My mother started screaming that there was a bomb and we had to stop. I told her that we knew there was an explosion, and were told to finish straight ahead.

Tara and I ran for about another .25 miles when the police came out of nowhere and stopped the race. They held up their hands and said the race was over. We were at mile 25.5.

We had worked so hard, and suddenly it just stopped. I grabbed Tara’s hand and we ran over the closest thing we could find to our own Finish Line, a stop line.

That is where the chaos really started. Within seconds all the streets were being closed, cops were everywhere. My family was stuck in Kenmore Square as the police were herding people to the other side of the street.

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