Tulsa Runners Prepare For Emotional Trip To Boston Marathon

Tuesday, April 15th 2014, 11:00 pm
By: News On 6

It's been a year since bombers sent shock waves through the streets of Boston. Thousands paid tribute to the three people who died and 260 others who were hurt when two bombs went off by the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

There was a moment of silence and wreath-laying ceremony. People are also promising to pack the route, to cheer on the runners.

Tulsa runners there that day felt the bombs too. One barely missed them. Now, runners are going back again this year, and they say this will be an emotional trip.

Just like Oklahoma City, just like 9-11, the Boston Marathon bombings had many of us praying for America, and Boston, to be strong.

Some Tulsans who ran that day have been building up their own personal strength to be able to show their resilience to run those Boston streets again.

When Ron Winn gets to Boston, he's going straight to the finish line. He didn't lose limbs or loved ones there, but he did leave a piece of himself behind.

"Well, basically my heart," Winn said.

Fifteen minutes separated him from the explosions; he would have finished right as terror took over. But instead, he finished in three hours and 45 minutes, his best ever.

"Initially, I was in shock. But in the hotel room, that went through my mind. We were all violated and the people there were going through a tremendous amount of pain and suffering," said Winn.

Winn heard and felt the bombs, but saw the aftermath on TV.

"Then I was in lockdown, so I couldn't go out and see what was going on or try to help or anything like that, so I felt pretty helpless," he said.

To Winn, this race, this year, is not about winning. It's about honoring the people, whose cheers he remembers.

Minutes later, for three of them, their voices would never be heard again.

"I don't know how I could ever truly repay them, but this is my way of showing my support," Winn said.

Raj Patel also beat the bombs. He, too, is going back.

"As soon as all that happened, my son actually teared up and said, 'You're not coming back next year, dad, are you?' And my immediate response was, 'No, I am coming back, because this is how we face cowards,'" Patel said.

Winn said, "I just want to go there and be in that spot where all that happened, and take it in, and get ahold of it and come to grips with it."

Winn and Patel are just two of the dozens of Tulsa runners that will race in Boston Monday.

And if you want to show your support, but can't make it out to Boston, then you can take part in a Boston Marathon Tribute Run/Walk right here in Tulsa.

On April 21, Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa will hold the three mile race at both of their locations, East 61st Street and South Yale Avenue, and East 2nd Street and South Frankfort Avenue, at 6 p.m.

They will also have a "We All Run Boston" tribute shirt for $30. Proceeds will benefit OneFund Boston. You can find more about at their website.