1 Year From Bombings, Annandale Woman Heading To Boston To Finish Marathon
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A year after the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds, one Minnesota woman is going back to finish the race she started.
“I knew it’d be emotional going back,” Jody Zylstra, from Annandale, said. “But this week is feeling like hurry up and wait.”
Zylstra ran the Boston Marathon for the first time last year, a goal she had since college. She was just blocks from the finish line when the first bomb went off.
“There was a loud noise and I thought it was a canon,” she said. “Because Boston [Marathon] is always held on Patriot’s Day I thought it was a canon.”
Zylstra says once the second bomb detonated, reality sunk in.
“We all kind of froze,” she said. “It got silent, for how many people there were it was eerily silent.”
Jody ran, scrambling to find a stranger with a phone to call her family. They had been waiting near the finish line that she wouldn’t cross, cheering her on.
“It was probably an hour or so before we were able to meet up in person,” Zylstra’s husband, Joe, said.
Luckily, they were all OK. They returned home, but Zylstra was determined to return. She spent the year training, and letting go.
“I had to get rid of the anger, anger wasn’t going to fuel me in any way positive,” Zylstra said.
On Monday, Zylstra will race again in Boston, with her family cheering her on.
“I’d actually love to stand in the same spot and watch her finish from the same spot,” Joe said.
Her life goal is now a symbol of triumph, for Boston Strong.
“I’m allowed to go back and I’m not worried,” Zylstra said. “God put me there for a reason he’ll put me there on Monday for a reason.”