Boston Marathon runners reflect on race and resilience since bombings

Photo courtesy of Jordan Pagkalinawan.

04/18/2023 By Jordan Pagkalinawan

The 127th Boston Marathon brought locals and foreigners together on a rainy Patriots Day morning. The 26.2-mile race began in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ended in Copley Square near the Boston Public Library.

Photo courtesy of Jordan Pagkalinawan.

Marlou Tacugue, a 32-year-old from Sydney, Australia, ran the Boston Marathon for the first time and knew it would be difficult considering the inclement weather on Monday.

“I knew the backend of the hill was going to be tough,” Tacugue said. “But I think I was able to hold on and finish it off fairly strong.”

Martin Corona De La Cruz, a 28-year-old from Los Angeles, was also a novice heading into the Boston Marathon. He prepared for the course by watching videos.

“I saw the course and previewed it,” he said. “But it’s nothing [compared] to actually running it.”

“I did go out a little too hard,” De La Cruz continued. “After mile 16, it was downhill. And once the hills came, that’s where I really paid [the price].”

This year’s race was made all the more notable considering the 10th anniversary of the bombings that devastated the city. Church bells tolled at 2:49 p.m., when the blasts rang out 10 years ago. It was around that time when runners continued to cross the finish line.

Tacugue and Corona De La Cruz also reflected on what running this race meant to them on a momentous anniversary.

Tacugue felt the significance of the race. “I knew it was going to be a big deal, coming to Boston, especially in this time of the year,” he said. “It’s just good to see all the runners out running the Boston Marathon like it has been over the years.”

“It’s just honestly an honor,” De La Cruz said. “I know it means a lot to this city and to the country in general. It was obviously a tragedy what occurred, but to be able to be here [and] see how far we’ve come together—this is a marathon where people come from all over the world to participate,” he added. “Seeing ‘Boston Strong’ all over and seeing all the precautions that the city takes, and how people embrace running here, it’s just been a really honorable experience.”

Both of them acknowledged that finishing the race was their favorite part of Marathon weekend.

“This part right now is the best feeling,” Tacugue said. “You can’t beat it. It’s been a long time coming in terms of the last week I’ve been here. This is the best part of it, and I’m hoping to enjoy it.”

“You can’t beat the running,” De La Cruz said. “Going into mile 25, everyone was shouting ‘One more mile! One more mile!’ I didn’t think I was going to get emotional, but I started tearing up.”

As for what comes next for Tucugue and De La Cruz, they both plan to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which is slated for Oct. 8.

This year’s Boston Marathon served as a reminder of the city’s resilience, and how it will forever remain “Boston Strong.”