Georgetown Honors 'Boston Strong'

The terrorist Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 were a horrific shock to those on the scene and across America. Our prayers are with the dead, maimed and injured. The racers will return.

For two Georgetowners, the marathon and its after-effects were personal and shocking, of course.

Marsha Ralls, a business leader and owner of the Ralls Collection, ran the race until its last miles just as the bombs went off. “I was at Mile 22 and saw all the runner look- ing at their phones,” Ralls said. “That was unusual, to say the least. At Mile 23, they told us they would stop the race at Mile 24. I did not yet know there had been a bombing.”

“My first reaction to all this is anger and shock,” Ralls said. “I will go back in honor of those killed.”

For runners tired, but happy to be close to the finish, “it was emotional,” she said. “No one could reach me at first. I didn’t know anyone’s number. Next time, I will have my boys’ numbers on me. My friends were going to the finish line to meet me.” It was doubly emotional for Ralls, as she was running “for my mother and a little boy who died.”

The Boston Marathon is a race for elite runners. Ralls was stopped at Mile 24. (Her qualifying time is 4:05.) She is pictured at the top of Heartbreak Hill, about four miles from the finish line. Ralls plans to return for a third time to the marathon: “I am with you, Boston, and will be back next year.”

For Ryan Samuel, co-owner of Booeymon- ger’s on Prospect Street, the race was over in just over three hours. He had run with a friend, keeping his pace. The two were back in their hotel by the time of the bombing. Samuel, too, was angry and shocked but had no doubt the marathon would continue next year.

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Sat, 23 Aug 2014 11:19:51 -0400

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