It would have been easy, on the balmy April afternoon, to let the sunshine and the cheering crowds carry her back to last year, when the brightness of Marathon Monday suddenly darkened. But Heather Abbott, who lost a leg last April, was too busy for that: She had a finish line to cross.
Running alongside Erin Chatham, one of the first people who came to her aid as she lay badly hurt and bleeding last Patriots Day, Abbott stepped briskly down the home stretch on Boylston Street just before 5 p.m. Monday, raised her arms into the air, and triumphantly closed out the most painful, most remarkable year of her life.
“It felt good,” she said, breathing hard as she stopped to recover beyond the iconic blue stripe in the street. She wore one fuchsia-colored Nike sneaker, on her right foot, and on the left, the sleek, custom-made prosthetic blade she uses for running.
Beside her, Chatham beamed, as pleased by Abbott’s accomplishment as she was by her own 26.2-mile achievement.
“My motivation was to make it to Heather, and to run with her,” Chatham said of her five-hour, 25-minute effort Monday.
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