Jenn Foisy (second from left) and other “Medical Lane” volunteers at the security briefing before the race.
Jenn Foisy was back on Boylston Street Monday, volunteering at the medical lane just past the finish line for the Boston Marathon as she had in 2013. Only this year, there was no tragedy, only smiles, hugs, and lots of gratitude all the way around.
“It was an unbelievable day,” she said Tuesday. Foisy, who lives in Cumberland, is a special ed teacher at Hanaford Elementary.
While she’d been a little nervous to return, recalling the bombings and the hours of horror and confusion that followed, she was also committed: “There’s no place I’d rather be on Marathon Monday.”
And so, on Monday, she arrived at the site early in the morning. During the security briefing, three of the people who were hurt in the bombings last year were there to thank the volunteers for being there.
One of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings thanks the 2014 volunteers during a security briefing before Monday’s race.
“‘If one of you in that yellow coat hadn’t picked me up, I’d be dead,’” Foisy said one of the survivors told them. “That was a touching start to the day.”
Another surprise came when the captain of the medical lane volunteer team handed everyone a “Medical Lane Strong” t-shirt.
Last year, the medical lane had been a couple blocks back from the finish line; this year it was moved up to Dartmouth Street, so Foisy got to see a lot of finishers, including Patriots hall of famer Tedy Bruschi.
“There was definitely tighter security,” she said. “The black hawks overhead at the beginning was unnerving.”
Foisy could see snipers on rooftops and a bomb-sniffing team from New York City was stationed right near her for the duration of the race.
“This is the new normal and everyone was ok with that,” she said. “Boylston Street was alive with activity. It was a good, healing day.”
That said, Foisy admitted it was also a long day. “It was 16 hours, I’m tired.”
Tired maybe, but also inspired. She spoke to me while she was in the middle of a five-mile run. Foisy took up running less than two years ago and has already completed two marathons, but she’s set her sights on qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
“For Boston, I need to cut one hour off” her time, “but I’m getting there, I’m going to do it.
Here are links to other stories about the 2014 Boston Marathon: