Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Cheers swelled from hundreds of spectators on either side of metal barricades as more than 10 runners in yellow and blue approached the finish line of the Salt Lake City Marathon.
They beamed as they stood on the line and held their hands over their hearts at four hours and 10 minutes, just after the time displayed on the Boston race clock when the first explosion sounded on Monday.
“We didn’t have legs to run today. We were all running on heart,” runner Rachel Moody said after the race. Moody ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday and paced a group of runners for the Salt Lake Marathon this weekend.
Just three days earlier, Moody was in her living room, tears streaming down her face as she admitted to leaving her running heart in Boston in the immediate aftermath of Monday's marathon.
“That was so my quintessential happy,” she said. “And I know it will never be the same and I will never get it back. But I will run again. Because I am a runner and nobody will stop me. You can’t stop us. Because we’re just that crazy.”
Days later, on a wet Saturday morning in Salt Lake City, she laced up her shoes and joined an estimated 7,000 participants in the Salt Lake City Marathon, others enjoying a half marathon, 5K, children's marathon, wheelchair and hand cycle race or bike tour.
At 11:09 a.m., 4 hours and 9 minutes into the marathon and right before Moody’s group approached the finish line, race coordinators held a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon participants and runners, marking the time of the bombings in Boston on Monday.
“Sweet Caroline,” an anthem of the Boston Red Sox, pierced the silence, just as it did at the race's start, and the crowd roared, pumping their fists during the trumpeted “Ba Ba Ba” part of the chorus.
The scene of cheering and joyful defiance of terrorism also played out elsewhere across the country Saturday, including in Fenway Park, where the Red Sox signaled the beginning of a return to normal even as it became the site of tributes and thanks — to those who are in mourning and those who helped resolve the week's conflict.
In Salt Lake City, some who ran alongside the pace group finished the Boston Marathon while other racers there were stopped early in Boston. A few of these runners joined the pacers at mile 25, Moody said, so they could get in the last mile of Boston that they had missed earlier in the week.
As the runner's legs got tired, they would think of those who lost their legs on Monday, and they would press forward, Moody said.
“To me, it’s a new beginning, it’s a way to start over," Moody said, adding, "We as runners are united and ready to take this on and to not back down.”
Why we run
Her group was one of three types of race participants sports psychology consultant Nicole Detling said she anticipated at Saturday's event. This first group, Detling said, were those who ran for Boston, who felt a connection with their fellow runners in Boston and raced to show their solidarity.
The second group, she said, includes those who chose to drop out for fear of something happening in the wake of the Boston explosions.
The third group, she said, recognizes the tragedy on Monday was awful, but still keeps their focus on the race.
Regardless of where runners fit in, the sport itself is collective. Runners tend to cheer each other and enjoy camaraderie because of the shared understanding that each is overcoming individual obstacles to run.
“The common bond we all share is we’re all trying to conquer ourselves,” Detling said.
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