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Strength from a symbol: The Boston Marathon through the eyes of one runner


A medal is usually thought of as a symbol of an achievement earned, a victory won, or a personal accomplishment.

Yet, it never really occurred to me that a medal could also symbolize all the thousands of supporters who make an event so special.

My name is Kevin Christie and I’m a native Bostonian. I’ve been with FedEx as a proud courier for 26 years, and I’m a runner.

I’m fortunate enough to have finished this year’s Boston Marathon before the bombs went off. I heard about the senseless attack on the way home, and the first thing I thought was that I ran past those spectators who were hurt and killed. They probably cheered for me. It’s a terrible thought, but I’ll never forget them.

In many ways, distance runners get our strength from all of the smiling people lining the route, the cheering spectators encouraging us to dig deep and push to the next step, the next mile. They are our inspiration. Without the wonderful spectators, any marathon would be no different from a jog in the park.

The Boston Marathon was my 8th marathon, and 2013 was the 4th time that I’ve had the honor of finishing the Boston Marathon. To every marathon runner, the finisher medal is sacred, but this year’s Boston medal will always be deeply treasured.

This year’s Boston Marathon medal will always symbolize the brightness of the human spirit. It will symbolize the kind hearts of runners from around the world. It will symbolize recovery and resilience.

Boston Marathon finisher medals prepped for shipmentI know that every time I look at the medal from this race, I’ll be particularly reminded of the faces of all those who were there that day to support friends, family, and co-workers.  To each of you who were there this year and especially to those who selflessly went to the aid of those who were injured – Thank You.

You’ll see me there next year, running the race that I love, in front of the city that I so dearly cherish.

*Note: FedEx is honored to donate shipment of finisher medals all over the world to over 2,000 Boston Marathon 2013 runners who were unable to finish the race or receive their medals before the attack.


Comments (40) 

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Well done and well said! Thank you for being a great representative of all that Boston and FedEx stand for. BZ.

It was wonderful to read your inspirational story as a retired FedEx employee you help to remind me of many of the things we did and do for others


Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your story! I followed the whole Boston story start to finish as my brother is a iron man/marathoner who runs the Boston Marathon nearly every year. He elected to compete in a different marathon, hence wasn't in Boston, but I still felt a connection to all the people involved. Bravo Zulu to you, and to FedEx for donating, for providing the symbol of accomplishment, of rising above the tragedy and helping heal.

It is such a wonderful honor to be able to read this story, and to realize that FedEx played a special part in delivering the medal! This is such a great story! Thank you for sharing!

Kevin, Thank you for sharing your experiences from that dreadful day in BOS. As a runner I can relate to the idea that we get our strength from all the volunteers and spectators along the race courses and finish lines. It's what helps make the training days all worthwhile. As a fellow FedEx employee, I'm proud we had a small part in the healing process by delivering medals to those who did not receive them on the day of the race. It's another example of our wonderful culture and the Purple Promise. Kevin you make us all proud. Good luck next year.

Kevin, I am so very proud of you and what you have written here in this blog! Love from your sister, Bonnie

Thank you Kevin for sharing the depth of your strength and emotional experience. So much was taken from all the runners, participants, volunteers and spectators at that tragic moment, but evil will never prevail and love conquers all.

I was one of the runners who did not finish. It was my fifth Boston Marathon and the first one I did not finish among more than 20 marathons. I've just received a medal just now. Thanks FedEx for delivering it! See you at Copley in 2014. I will be back.

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