The stories of Utah's runners who united for the Boston Marathon victims

Published: Tuesday, April 23 2013 10:44 a.m. MDT

By Kimberly Hammond Cowart

SANDY — First, I should admit that Monday was a really hard day. The more time that goes by, the more I realize the magnitude of what we saw and felt in Boston last week. I'm sure it's going to take awhile to fully digest and work through the complex feelings and emotions that keep swirling in my head and heart. The hardest part of these last few days is being away from my fellow runners, especially those who were in Boston with me. The world around me goes on and everything seems normal, but I don't feel normal. It's an isolating feeling.

Within minutes of arriving at the store I saw two good friends who greeted me with hugs and expressed how happy they were that I was there — literally. Soon after, a friend who was in Boston arrived and we began to talk about what we saw and how we were feeling now. It felt good to know that I wasn't struggling with coming to grips with everything alone.

The run began with a promise to stick together, support each other. It was mentioned that our sport is a special sport and the feeling was palpable. I was struck by the various ages, backgrounds and ability levels that came to show their support for those who needed it the most. No one seemed to care about anything other than being together. I walked with my youngest daughter, Ali, and my friend Jessica who was the first person to call me and actually broke the news to me about what was happening just down the block from my hotel. I had heard the explosions and the sirens, but didn't realize they were bombs until she called to ask if I was OK. One week ago we were crying together in grief over the phone. Today we smiled, laughed and watched our kids run and play together.

I don't think I'm ever going to be "normal" again. This event changed me to my core. But some of the changes were good. I am more grateful. I see how much I need my friends and family around me. It is clear to me how much my community means to me.

It was a good night.
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