OSSINING, N.Y. – Charity runner Michele Lawton returned to her home in Ossining on Tuesday evening feeling accomplished for coming so close to finishing Monday’s Boston Marathon and “tragic sadness” for how the day turned out.
“It’s just disheartening – on a day when it’s supposed to be a joyous occasion, where people are running for charity,” Lawton told The Daily Voice on Wednesday. “It was a perfect day for running. … Everything was going really well up until the point of the bombings.”
Right before the explosions, which Lawton didn’t hear or see, she said she was motivated by seeing her daughter, a Boston University student, and daughter’s friends at Mile 25. She high-fived the group and embraced her daughter. Her husband and sister-in-law had also met her earlier at the halfway mark.
Lawton was less than a mile from the finish line at 3:40 p.m. – about to approach Boylston Street, where two bombs had gone off at 2:50 p.m. – when she found out she wouldn’t be allowed to run any farther. She and her fellow runners learned about the bombings from news on their cellphones.
Lawton said she was confident that her daughter wasn’t near the bombings since she had just seen her, but she was nervous that her husband would try to meet her again at the finish line.
Feeling scared and exhausted, Lawton said the residents of Boston “rose to the occasion” to help the marathon runners, most of whom were without coats, money or water, which Bostonians graciously offered. Lawton found her daughter and then met up with her husband at their daughter’s college dorm room.
Lawton, a mother of five, kept her other four children at home in Ossining – something she said she was grateful for since she described the events after the race as “mass chaos.”
Monday’s race was Lawton’s fifth marathon, and her second time in the Boston race. She was one of two people running for the New England Center for Children, a residential school of 120 students that helped her autistic son , Jack, live independently.
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