2013 Boston Marathon4:09:43 Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners
Hal Higdon
Human Kinetics
2014

THOOM! Four hours, nine minutes and forty-three seconds were showing on the finish line clock when the first bomb exploded on Boylston Street during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Thirteen seconds later, a second explosion further down the road. THOOM! “And the sport of running never again would be the same.”

Hal Higdon, accomplished runner, coach, and author of several best-selling books on running, has put together an extraordinary account of what happened on that horrific day in his new book, 4:09:43. Higdon views Boston 2013 through the eyes of 75 runners who participated in the race that day. Through blogs, emails, social media, and interviews, Higdon weaves together a narrative that covers the entire 2013 Boston Marathon experience.

The story begins with runners making their way to the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. We follow their early progress along the course as they make their way through Ashland, Framingham, and Natick.  Spectators cheer and the girls of Wellesley spirit them on towards the hills of Newton and Brookline until they reach the great city of Boston.

As a runner, you’ll be interested in the marathon experience and specific rigors of running Boston. As a fellow human, you’ll be haunted by their stories. You will worry about your own personal safety the next time you run a race. You will worry about your family and friends. Above all,  you will appreciate even more, the spectators who come to support the runners.

Three people were killed and 260 were injured in the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013. Almost all of them were spectators. They were standing outside the barricades on Boylston Street that Patriot’s Day to support the runners. Their enthusiasm, love, and emotion is what lifts us up when we’re falling, what keeps us moving when we’re exhausted, and what makes us smile through it all.

“This time next year on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon” – President Barack Obama, April 17th 2014

4:09:43 is a book written by runners. Combined, these runners share 75 sets of eyes, and their stories offer a very complete picture of the 2013 Boston Marathon. As Peter Sagal said about 4:09:43, “It’s the closest we can come to having been everywhere on that one terrible, miraculous day.”

Thoughts?