Meghan Cole and her younger cousin ran 5.2 miles from Stacy Boulevard, through town to Niles Beach and around to the Good Harbor Footbridge, ticking off the miles that remained after her 26.2-mile marathon run was cut short at mile 21 Monday.
That had been when police had stepped out in front of the runners, turning the marathoners away from the two bomb blasts that killed three people and injured over 170 near the historic Boston Marathon’s finish line.
Cole, a 2005 Gloucester High School graduate, had run sprints as a track athlete all through high school, but this 117th Boston Marathon was her first 26.2 mile race. But she said Wednesday she plans to return to Boston for next year’s run — despite Monday’s terrorist attack.
“I’m not going to let this prevent me from doing anything else,” Cole said. “I’ve gotten on a plane since 9/11 and we can’t let this instill fear in us.”
Cape Ann residents who had volunteered at the race, watched the awe-inspiring trek, or run the miles for charity or for competition were already vowing Wednesday to return next year.
Dr. David Driscoll had traveled from his Essex home to volunteer at the marathon’s medical tents for his eighth year in a row, taking the day off from his work at the Medical Group in Beverly. Though people might think a doctor could more easily disconnect himself from the tragedy, Driscoll said that, despite his training, thoughts of the affected families continued to cross through his mind Wednesday.
“We’re exposed to trauma and a lot of medical issues all the time, but this really had a different effect,” Driscoll said. “Maybe because it’s one thing when you’re in an emergency room and someone comes in sick or you’re in your office, but it’s another thing when you’re down there treating healthy runners and the environment changes so rapidly and you’re thrown into a war zone.”