Boston Marathon

Runners Tell Us What Inspired Them to Finish the Boston Marathon

NBC Universal, Inc.

As the hours ticked by, runners in Monday's Boston Marathon were determined to finish, no matter the time.

"Six hours," said Jameelah Aziz of Billerica, Massachusetts. "It's not great, but I'm done."

After months of training, nothing was stopping thousands of people from completing the race.

"Feeling really incredible doing this pregnant," said Ashleigh O'Hearn of Taunton. "It'll be a really cool story, especially if they ever become a runner."

Despite the October date and the pandemic protocols in place, this year's race still captured the energy and enthusiasm of a traditional Boston Marathon.

"When COVID started, I started running," said Fatima Mezda of Concord. "Eighteen months later, I found myself registering for the marathon, and here we are."

Kelly Catallo of Medford completed her first marathon on her 55th birthday.

"It was awesome," said Catallo. "Everyone should do it."

Each racer had their own reason to run.

"Being paralyzed multiple times," said Thomas Smith of Marblehead. "I'm able to get back on my feet. I feel so fortunate."

Alexis Maharam ran for her dad and to raise money for a devastating illness.

"My dad has Parkinson's disease," said the Boston resident. "So it was all for him, so that's all that matters."

Carmen Sierra of Florida ran for her mom.

"She passed away on Christmas Day," said Sierra. "I wanted to do something special for her because she suffered so much, and I wanted to feel that pain."

She says the struggle was worth it.

"This is my dream come true," said Sierra. "I'm just overwhelmed."

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