Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky were spectators last year, lined up along Boylston street to watch the marathoners finish. They were right in front of the first bomb, the blast knocking them unconscious and requiring the amputation of each's left leg below the knee. They were back at the finish line this afternoon, this time as competitors—crossing it hand in hand, finishing the handcycle race in 2:14:13.
The Globe profiled the couple yesterday, and it's every bit as heartwarming and heartbreaking as you'd expect. For most people, today's marathon is closure on a traumatic event that was earthshaking, but not literally lifechanging. For these two—who may not ever be able to resume their chosen careers because of their injuries, and must live with Jessica's sister as a full-time caretaker—and for scores of others, today's race isn't an ending. But it's a triumph nonetheless.
Married just seven months before the bombings, Downes and Kensky were preparing to move to San Francisco this time last year. Their plans obviously changed. So it was with some weight that Downes addressed the crowd at last week's memorial ceremony on the one-year anniversary of the bombings:
"I am so proud to be a Bostonian because I am so proud to be connected to all of you."