Galison, who attended Harvard as an undergraduate, also said his father was a marathon runner. He said he remembers visiting New York during college to watch his father compete in the New York City Marathon, which partly inspired him to run marathons as well.
“There’s also a kind of peacefulness to it,” he said. “It’s pretty simple. You run.”
He added that running throughout the city while training for the marathon has brought him closer to Boston.
“I like getting to know the city, I like the rhythm of it,” he said. “There’s something about covering this territory of Boston and Boston suburbs by foot.”
FINISHING WHAT THEY STARTED
“I have a running watch, and it says my longest run ever is 25.9 miles, said Szonyi, referring to the distance he ran last year at the Boston Marathon.“ I want it to say 26.2.” Among the Harvard runners evacuated from the course before completing last year’s marathon, Szonyi is not unique.
Lyons, who ran unregistered as a “bandit” last year, said she was close to the finish line when the bombs exploded, hindering her from finishing the race. This year, she is running with the Harvard College Marathon Challenge as an official racer, and although she is injured, she has her heart set on crossing the finish line.
“For me it's a true exercise in closure,” Lyons said. “I really have felt something’s been missing.”
Galison, who said it was very “disorienting” to be stopped so abruptly before completing the race, said he is excited to finally finish what he started two years ago when training for the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“Like many of the runners, for me [running the marathon] is both personal and also a really reclaiming experience,” said Galison. “It’s such an important symbol of everything in Boston.”
University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, who ran the marathon last year, echoed this sentiment.
“It really was going to be my last marathon,” he told the Harvard Gazette. “But after the bombing, like so many other people, I thought it was important to send a message by showing up this year.”
Other runners said they anticipate the energy of the crowd will be more prominent than last year.
Wenk, who attended last year’s Patriot’s Day Red Sox game, estimated that there were nearly one million spectators at the 2013 Boston Marathon. This year, she predicts there will be even more.
“Everyone’s out, it’s like the first day of spring, everyone’s really excited,” Wenk said. “That on top of the One Boston, Boston Strong feeling, I think will just be incredible.”
—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Meg_Bernhard.