The Next Finish Line

By Nicola Leiter

Yesterday, less than a week after I lined up at the starting line of the Boston Marathon, I lined up at a very different start. The start for Boston, involved 3 different waves of more than a combined 23,000 runners. The crowd was so tight that it took over 5 kilometers to feel like I could run at my own pace.

That day would have been exceptional without the tragic events that transpired but the bombings that stopped my race and lead to the death and injury of so many left the city stunned and unsure of how to take the next step. Personally, I was extremely grateful that everybody I know was unharmed physically but having my race end in such a confusing and unsettling way made everything feel very unfinished.

So that brings me to the start line I was standing on Sunday morning. There were only a few dozen people lined up around me. Many people were wearing jackets signifying that they had run in either this year or past years’ Boston marathons. Most of us were also accompanied by our very favorite running companions: our dogs.

This run was a 5k fundraiser for the rescue organization thorough which we adopted my own running buddy, Hannah. I had been forced to leave Hannah home on several of my long runs in preparation for the marathon so even before the bombings, I had been planning to participate in this race that was specifically designed for people and their dogs.

After the attack the race became even more important to me. I wasn’t able to cross the finish line on Monday but I could cross it that day. I was able to do the thing I love in a way that made me feel safe with my best buddy at my side.

After a setback it’s always hard to get back on whatever horse threw you. However, you don’t need to jump right back onto that same bucking bronco. A small step can be exactly what you need to get back to normal.

For Related Posts:

The Resilience of Community

The Power of Closure


  1. Dear Dr. Leiter
    Dear Nicola:

    What an amazing experience and what a symbolic run to get back not only to normal, but to the sense of daily life!

    Ordinary life loose meaning day by day and we consider other priorities in order to maintain the sense of our life.

    Thanks both for share your experience and it’s resolution.


    1. Thank you for your comments, Heriberto

      It was an extraordinary experience just being on the edge of the event. I’m so pleased that Nicola has had the opportunity to have such a delightful run on Sunday.

      all the best,

Leave a Reply