NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — With just two days to go until the Boston marathon, one New York woman is determined to get back on the race course.
Her first marathon attempt was thwarted by Superstorm Sandy, then came the bombings.
“I was really excited. This was going to be my marathon finish and all of a sudden all of the runners were just stopped by a police barricade,” Renee Pompei-Reynolds told CBS 2’s Diane Macedo.
Pompei-Reynolds was just a half a mile away from completing he first marathon when, in an instant, everything changed.
“All of the spectators around cheering us on said that there had been explosions near the finish line. We though it might have been an electrical explosion. So, for I would like to say a good fifteen minutes, we thought maybe we’d be able to finish,” she said.
Soon, word had spread that two bombs had exploded in the same area where her husband and sister were waiting.
“You’re at the height of exhaustion and excited to finish your marathon and to know that your loved ones might be in danger was very traumatic,” she said.
The three tried to get in touch with each other but phone lines were jammed.
“Spectators were leaning over the rails and handing people their cell phones. This one girl gave me her coat. You could really sense the city come together,” Pompei-Reynolds said.
Eventually, Renee found her sister and her husband unharmed. Looking back, she is still filled with emotion.
“I feel really angry that that race was taken away from so many people. That day that’s supposed to be a happy day, celebrating the human spirit was turned into a day of tragedy,” she said.
Last fall, Renee returned to New York and completed her first marathon.
Now, she is determined to finish what she started in Boston, in honor of the many victims who no longer can.
“I’m in my heart, I’m doing it for them. Doing it for the city of Boston, doing it to prove the resilience of the human spirit,” she said.
Renee said that her husband and sister will once again be waiting for her at the finish line.
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