Paralympian Brings Don't-Quit Spirit To Boston Marathon

Sunday, April 20th 2014, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

Editor's note: News On 6 anchor Chera Kimiko is part of a large group of Tulsans who will be running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Chera co-anchors the News On 6 at 9 p.m. newscast on Tulsa CW.

Boston Blog No. 3, Sunday April 20, 2014

Sometimes you can just tell when something big is about to happen, like the smell in the air before a thunderstorm or the first gust of wind that barrels in right before winter. The same is true as I waited in line at the Boston Expo to try out the latest running technology.

The energy surrounding 36,000 entrants coming to pick up their marathon bibs was electric. Without a doubt, I knew something profound was in the works. It's not fear, nor defeat, but rather excitement — a time to conquer. Like when a father looks his daughter in the eye and says she can do something special. Or when a mother embraces her son and tells him, "I believe in you. Give it everything you've got."

4/20/2014 Related Story: News On 6 Anchor Set To Run Monday's Boston Marathon

Nothing could be more true for Shirley Reilly from Tucson, Arizona. She's not here just to win — she's here to show strength and perseverance.

From the day Shirley was born; she's been a fighter. She was born without the use of her legs. Shirley knows how to push through anger, frustration, despair, and adversity, and still come out on top -- literally. Shirley is a Paralympic gold, silver and bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She also won the Boston Marathon in 2012.

That was supposed to be Shirley's last Boston Marathon, but because of the bombing, it inspired her to come back one last time — to show the people that were directly affected what they can achieve, even under the worst of circumstances. Her goal this year is to not only win, but more importantly, to be a role model for others. To never give up, no matter what hand you're dealt.

From the expo to touring Fenway Park, everyone I spoke with is excited and eager for this year's Boston Marathon. Resilience and perseverance — no matter where you're from — we all are Boston Strong.