The message was simple this year in the Boston Marathon, it was ‘Boston Strong’ after last year's horrific bombings. One woman who showed her strength was none other that 73-year-old Joan Price, an Irish ex-pat who has spent much of her life in America. She was named as one of 204 Irish natives running in the race.
Now residing in Hull, a small peninsula town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, the Irish native was the oldest runners playing her part in reclaiming Boston. The active senior citizen started the race at 11.30am and got a little lost near the end of the race course but spectators and volunteers still on site guided the Irish woman back on course and she completed the marathon at 8.06pm. She immediately celebrated with a pint of Guinness.
Price said afterwards”Even though I was the last regular runner to finish, I’m ecstatic, and only a little sore.”
It was her first time to participate in the Boston marathon but her 21st marathon overall, having run them in New York and in Ireland during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, though she hadn’t run one in 12 years.
The brave 73-year-old who was determined to complete the racecourse told reporters that once she passed the finish line.
“We first went out and had a pint of Guinness which is, I always do that after the marathons,” she said with a smile.
“I just said, after starting at the beginning, there was no way I was going to quit. I truly just wanted to come under that finish line,” she says.
“What made me run it was for the recovery of all the people who were injured last year. All those people that came back after those injuries, there was no room to complain, none,” she says emphatically.
When she finally realized her goal, it was the cleanup crews that were there to greet her.
“The trucks that were cleaning up, they just stopped and they were banging on the windows, and oh, I felt like I had won the marathon myself!” she says.
Joan won a lottery through her running club to get her official number for the race.
Joan was in the final wave to leave the start line. She was running, and walking, while the winners won. She was running when the middle of the pack was finishing, and she was still running while the back of the pack was coming down Boylston Street.
The determination of the Irish woman was just one of the heart warming stories to come from the 2014 marathon as thousands of runners began a healing process from the tragic events of the 2013 marathon.