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One Year Later, Runners are Boston Strong
Area athletes run the 2014 marathon
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Stamford, CT | Added on April 21, 2014 At 12:30 PM

Thousands are running today in Boston.  Among them are runners from the community who say the marathon this year is much more than a race.  

Greenwich resident Lance Svendson crossed the finish line last year in Boston.  

I was about one block away.  I was celebrating with my dad.  We were hugging and then I was waiting for my teammates," said Lance Svendsen, a Greenwich native.  

But ten minutes later, pure bliss turned into shock and chaos.  

"And then that's when we saw the explosion," said Svendsen.

Svendsen's teammate Wesley-Anne Bock-Nelson wasn't far behind.  But at mile 25, she didn't see the explosions and was halted and barricaded by police.  

"Everyone was just kind of in this state of panic," said Wesley-Anne Bock-Nelson, "No one knew what to do."  

Then, cell service was down.  

"I felt helpless.  I've no way to communicate with anyone.  In my entire life, there's just a bunch of people around me crying," said Bock-Nelson.  

"It was a lot of praying going on in that hour," said Svendsen.

But they finally found each other at a street away from the scene.   

"Seeing Todd and Wesley-Anne was one of like the best feelings of my life," said Svendsen, "Because you knew that your whole team is safe."  

Looking back on April 15, 2013, they say even as horrific scenes play out, it's the people of Boston who stand out.  

"People of Boston were so kind.  They took all the runners in and gave them their sweaters, let them charge their phones," said Svendsen.

"They opened their doors and their hearts.  It was really cool," said Bock-Nelson, who was given a sweatshirt, water and a place to rest by people in Boston who wanted to help.  

They say it's the unity of runners, supporters, and first responders that truly defines the meaning, Boston Strong. 

"You can target the running community but at the end, we're going to be stronger," said Bock-Nelson.

This year, they're running for themselves, but also for those who can't.  

"It's something bigger than a race for everybody this year.  It's something where we're all going to cross that finish line and we're going to show everybody that nothing can stop us," said Bock-Nelson.  

Svendsen will run for his uncle, who passed away from brain cancer.

"I run for him all the time now, so it's called Run Anyway and our logo is actually my uncle's silhouette," said Svendsen, who spoke in reference to a foundation he created called Run Anyway.

The running foundation is raising money for the organization Children of Fall Patriots.

"Now, I'm so excited to go back to Boston and get to, not just me finish but our entire team finish and cross the line.  And all those people who didn't get to last year," said Svendsen.  

For more information about the Run Anyway foundation, check out their Facebook page and website here:

Run Anyway website: http://www.runanyway.org

Run Anyway Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RunAnyway

 

Note: Photos and videos at the marathon, courtesy of Lance Svendsen and Wesley-Anne Bock-Nelson.


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