Three years after a terrorist bombing upended the Boston Marathon, 21 survivors, including several who lost limbs, competed in the annual race on Monday.
Patrick Downes ran the 120th marathon with a prosthetic left leg. Not only was this his first marathon, but Downes was the first Boston bombing survivor who lost a limb to finish the race on foot, according to Runner's World.
CBS Boston reported that Downes crossed the finish line at 2:49 p.m. — the same time that the first pressure cooker bomb exploded on Boylston Street in 2013.
He then hugged his wife, Jessica Kensky, herself a double amputee from the bombing, and shook hands with Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard who died in the attack.
Marc Fucarile, who lost both legs and testified in the criminal trial against bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last year, rode in the hand cycle race on Monday.
"I did this for people that ran for me, for my son to know that it can be done," Fucarile said afterward.
Former professional ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis also started the 26.2-mile race with the help of a prosthetic blade. She had lost her left leg from the second bomb. More than halfway into the run on Monday, she posted on social media that she was having difficulty continuing.
“[When I first started] learning how to use the blade, I made a pact with myself that I would at least try to run,” Haslet-Davis had recently told The Huffington Post. “I [thought], ‘Gosh, this blade is so difficult to use,’ so I decided to make it a challenge that I would overcome.”
Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa, both of Ethiopia, won the men's and women's footraces, respectively.