Carlos Arredondo and Tom Smith Finish the Boston Marathon 2019 Together
Arredondo Family Foundation
Carlos Arredondo releases – Boston Marathon 2019 – April 15, 2019 On this 6th anniversary of the bombing on April 15, 2019, I participated in the marathon representing the Arredondo Family Foundation. I joined other Boston bombing survivors attending events through the City and also in the marathon. I remembered all of the people who will never forget this date and what they went through. I left Boston very wet at 7 a.m. that Patriots’ Day morning to find a bus to drive me to Hopkinton. When I arrived in Hopkinton, I went to the Athlete’s village. I was able to find Dante Zappala, a Gold Star brother from Philadelphia. He and I shared a moment of grief remembering his brother Sherwood, his Dad Al and my sons Brian and Alex. I sent my well-wishes to his Mom, Dad, wife, brother and children. We wished each other well on the journey we each were about to embark on. The biggest difference was that Dante is a really fast runner who led in one of the first corals. I was 29574 out of the 30000 runners and in wave six. Leaving the start, I ran cheering people on the sidelines. At three miles I ran into Tom Smith who I had met the year before. He and I teamed up to accomplish this journey together. Along the way, community gratitude and appreciation towards us was immense. At the same time, we responded back to the community with gratitude this included fellow runners, volunteers, friends and the public especially the men and women in uniforms. The eight hour journey made me realize the inner strength that Tom had as well as the physical and mental pain he was experiencing with every step. I tried to motivate his mind by reminding him that he and I were not doing this to achieve the best time. He and I were doing this to complete our individual goals. Tom was taking every step to show others who face physical challenges that each will fall down, but it’s important to get up again and again and again. When he cursed in pain and agony, I would state “no pain, no gain” and “we’re almost there”. As we turned onto Boylston Street, people would come out of their restaurants to cheer us on. Robert Wheeler, a Boston bombing survivor and first responder, who had finished his marathon race earlier ran towards us with his arms outstretched, wished us well, picked me off the ground screamed loudly “I love you Carlos.” As we continued one many other people journeyed with us for the next couple blocks cheering. When we crossed the finish line, we both hugged each other with profound gratitude at accomplishing this journey. The BAA was waiting to put our medals around our necks while news cameras and photographers recorded the moment. Family and friends were waiting many hours to welcome us. As a Marine Dad, I have learned, “Never leave anyone behind”.
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