It's all about unfinished business for Irish woman Lisa Horan, who, along with thousands of other runners, picked up her Boston Marathon racing bib and number last week. The mother of three received an invitation to re-run the 2014 Boston Marathon after being unable to complete the annual road-race last year.
Over 5,000 athletes had their marathon efforts cut short at last year's Marathon when two bombs exploded near the finish line in the heart of downtown Boston. The bombs killed three and maimed 260 more.
Recalling the events of April 15, 2013, the Wexford native says, “That could have been my family.” Horan was coming up to the last few miles of the race when she received a phone-call from her partner. He told her the marathon had been stopped and then the line went dead.
Perplexed by the phone-call and uncertain on how to proceed, Horan, continued to run until, finally, at mile 25 she was told that she could not go any further. It was hours before she reached her home in Braintree and the full enormity of the day’s events were revealed to her.
Horan's husband Kevin, from Tipperary, and their three daughters had secured a spot on Boylston Street close to the finish line where they could cheer her on in the final moments of the 26.2-mile run. Their ideal location meant the Horan Family stood on the opposite side of the street from the Richard family and from where the first bomb went off.
Fortunately, none of her family was hurt during the terrible events that unfolded that day. Yet even now, Horan shudders at the thought of what could have been and says, “I know how lucky we were”
After receiving the invitation to take part in this year's marathon, Horan knew if she was going to take part once again, it would be to honor young Martin Richard.
Horan is one of a hundred runners in TeamMR8. One of the largest teams at this road-race, they are running collectively in memory of the eight-year-old, who was killed at last year’s event. The group was selected personally by the Richard family to represent their new foundation set up to honor Martin's life and his now iconic message of ‘No more hurting people – peace.’ The money raised by TeamMR8 which is now near $1 million will be invested in education, athletics and community initiatives.
Speaking about the generosity and continued support of the community, Horan says, “It’s been amazing.” Having set out to reach a target goal of $2,000, the donations keep coming and her efforts now stand at $7,000.
Horan admits that despite her fund-raising success, training has been a little less easy. Not only has it been a long and bitter winter in Massachusetts, but the Irish woman has sustained multiple injuries. However, such challenges are not enough to stop her. She says, “I’m finishing what I started last year….. I will get there even if I have to walk.”
Please give Horan your support as she returns to the starting line at Hopkinton on April 21 to complete the 26.2 mile route. Donations can be made here.