Bismarck News

Local Runners Tell Their Story About Boston Marathon Bombings

Bismarck - 5 years ago today, bombings turned the Boston marathon -  typically a joyful, exciting event, into a nightmare for millions.

Emily Medalen spoke with local marathon runners about how the bombings affected the running community, and our country as a whole.

It's hard to put into words how or why events like the Boston marathon bombings happen.

5 years ago today, 3 lives were taken in Boston, and 260 others were wounded.
Every day since, runners, and friends and family of victims, have been coming together to prove that even in the wake of something so unimaginable-
There will always be brighter days ahead.

"It's been years but I don't think anyone's forgotten it. I know I haven't," says Lynn Beiswanger, runner.

5 years ago - just as runners were crossing the finish line of the Boston marathon, one bomb exploded, and then another...

"It looked like a military state. There was national guard, there was SWAT members all over the place as part of security..." says Beiswanger.

Lynn Beiswanger of Bismarck had finished the race an hour before.
He and his teammates made it out unharmed, but he says it's tough to feel lucky.

"It almost brings anger to you, why individuals would want to put other people in harms way like that. And then to take the lives of those individuals that were doing nothing more than standing there enjoying a magnificent day, watching the runners come in."

He's been running the Boston marathon for nearly 20 years -
But after 2013, the 26-mile stretch has never felt the same. 

"It's not what the race used to be. There are snipers on the tops of buildings as part of the security... the atmosphere changed."

"Did you ever falter in going back?" I asked.
"Not a bit," he responded.

And, it was this second that determined the course of another man's journey. 

"I remember vividly being on the treadmill and watching this unfold, and going 'Okay, now I've got to get there. I want to be a part of the rebuild," asked Josh Askvig, runner.

Askvig says seeing a broken hearted community come back stronger than before was all the motivation he needed.
But, he - along with those who did experience the horror of the bombings - are still left with a big question.

"Why? Why a race? A race is a happy place. It's where people come together to share a love for, in this case, running," says Beiswanger.

Still, they say, the race must go on.

"There's a sign they have that says "We Will Never Forget." So it's not, you know, just about an anniversary. In their hearts and in their minds, they realize the importance of that day in everybody's life," says Beiswanger.

Today, nearly 1 million people will be lining the course to cheer on this year's qualifiers.
But as they push forward - They will always remember just how quickly the path of life can change. 

"It's hard to put it into words. You know... it'll stick with me. Believe me... I will not forget," Beiswanger says.

Lynn Beiswanger told me that he plans to continue to run the Boston marathon for at least 10 more years so he can run it with his granddaughter when she turns 18.

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