Boston Marathon Memorials Part VII: Caitlyn Clark

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As we prepare for the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy, Level Renner is re-releasing the memorials and reflections of the running community written one year ago in the wake of the 117th running (these letters from readers were originally published in our May/June 2013 issue). Our intention is to pay proper respect and tribute to the events of last year’s race. We want nothing more than to handle the tragedy with appropriateness and tact. Because we see ourselves as an open platform for runners, this series is an expression of our audience’s thoughts from a year ago.  Thus, in the following pages, you will find an array of responses.  Some are angry, some are numb, most are just plain sad.  But some offer hope. Most show the strength and resolve of our community. The goal of this series is to remember and pay proper respect to the horrific events of April 15, 2013.  We will release one post per day in this series in the days leading up to the marathon.

Below is the seventh installment of a twelve part series. Caitlyn Clark of Sisu Project wrote this reflection.

After the events at Monday’s Boston Marathon, I value my family, my team and the running community more than ever. Instead of reflecting on the anger and sadness of the day, I have been trying to focus on the positive. There are so many unsung heroes in this unique community we are a part of; runners taking the shirts off their backs for tourniquets, others racing to the hospital after a marathon to give blood. My own teammate, Maartje, who ran a huge PR, opened up her home and catered to my every need as I tried to locate my mom, sister, and family friend.

The onslaught of text, Twitter, and Facebook messages of love and genuine care is something I will never forget. I thank God for making sure my mom didn’t run her projected time of 4:10, and I’m grateful that He blessed my sister and her teammates, who were spectating at the Crate and Barrel, with the speed to run far enough from the store in the 12 seconds between the first and second explosions. Had they not moved so quickly, I might have a different reflection today….

photo by EJN

I am so very sorry for the victims, but I know we, as a whole, will overcome. I have never been so proud to wear “Sisu” on my chest, because Sisu was, and still is, everywhere in this city and our community. The running community is one that perseveres, that faces adversity head on, that acts courageously in difficult situations. I am proud of us for our bravery, our unity, our love, and our Sisu.

—Caitlyn Clark


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