Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boston Marathon Bombing

Bob and Julie Steinberg are anchors in Winnipeg's running community. Bob and Julie are twice survivors and twice lucky. They survived the Boston Marathon bombing by a sliver. Bob was seconds away from harm's way, lost in smoke and panic, Julie tripping through chaos, crying and fearful of the worst, desperately searching for her dear Bob. Bob had passed mile 26. Julie was to meet him with dry clothes and a hug. 

That was the plan. 

Our dear, sweet Julie is on a another journey of surival, a journey of endless chemotherapy, soul depleting radiation, and exhaustion. They survived Boston and they will survive cancer. 

They are so loved and admired by their peers. How could we possibly survive in the absence of their warmth and humour? Where would we be and what would we do without their indomitable spirit and courage? 

Bob and Julie make us proud. They are survivors.

This is Bob and Julie's story of the Boston Bombing.

I am Julie, 61, married to Bob Steinberg, 62. We were both registered for 2013, but I withdrew my tour entry, disabled after knee surgery. On April 15, friends and I cheered at mile 21. Alone I caught the train to meet Bob with warm clothes after his finish. 

My train was evacuated just before going underground. I thought the subway exploded! I had both phones and couldn't reach Bob. Panicked, I found strength to run for the first time in six months. I eventually found the skymall. Police blocked exits to my hotel, saying the Marriott was evacuated. Phone lines jammed, I texted friends as my battery died. 

Running through the mall in tears, I heard my name. Miraculously, we had found each other. Bob had passed 26 miles, heard the explosions, was ushered off course, and thought it was in the subway where I was. We held each other crying. Then he pulled on dry clothes, plugged in phones, and we learned what happened from a storefront TV. He was a half block from the second explosion. Barraged with calls and texts, we let family and friends know we were safe. The mall was then evacuated. Confused and terrified, we found the way back of our hotel and were allowed inside. 

Media, interviews, friends, each other, time, healing. Bob still cries sometimes, but will run Boston 2014. We plan to spend time there afterwards. I am running again. The possibility of running Boston with my husband brings me to tears.

And Bob adds...

Anecdotally, I had knee surgery in Nov 2011, the second arthroscopy on my left knee. I did not recover well and it took many months and much Physio to recover. The invitation to Boston motivated me to train hard. We joined Rehfit that winter which made it easier, especially being able to run downhill on treadmills. Returning to Boston was intense. Each time we came to a spot which brought back memories of the year before, waves of emotion washed over us with goosebumps and tears. 

We ran the 5 k together, retracing the route Bob had been running when all hell broke loose. We held hands, running and sobbing, together conquering the demons of memory and fear. Running the race was incredibly healing. The crowds were the biggest ever, and so excited and supportive. Over and over, the people of the city thanked us for coming and running. Together Boston was strong.

We didn't run the Marathon (on Monday) together: Iran my fastest Boston Marathon time (of 4) in 3:55:18

See Mike Run blogged the Boston Marathon bombing on April 29, 2013. Click here  4:09:34 into the 3rd wave.   It is the only blog post that did not end in "It's a good day to be alive"... it just didn't seem appropriate. 

Yes, it's a good day to be alive, lest we forget.