'Back to Boston': Local Runners Return to Cross Finish Line

Jackie Hodges of Oak Forest, St. Damian teacher Andrea Lampasona, Tinley Park resident Jerry Rauman and Deb Walter of Orland vow to finish what they started, at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Andrea Lampasona, Jerry Rauman, Deb Walter and Jackie Hodges will return to complete the Boston Marathon. | Photo submitted.
Andrea Lampasona, Jerry Rauman, Deb Walter and Jackie Hodges will return to complete the Boston Marathon. | Photo submitted.
One year later, marathon runner Jackie Hodges can still recount the moments after the bombs went off, killing several and injuring hundreds more. 

The Oak Forest resident and several friends were at the 25.5-mile mark of the 2013 Boston Marathon, when they were brought to a screeching halt and chaos unfolded around them. They were frozen in place, eventually trickling out to coffee shops, in search of warmth, and cell phones to reach family. 

The people of Boston—she remembers them clearly. The owner of a Dunkin Donuts who took them in, offered warmth and food. The volunteers who provided garbage bags as protection from the elements—the power of the people moved them. 

"The volunteers, the people of Boston, they were just amazing," Hodges said. 

The race was St. Damian teacher Andrea Lampasona's first attempt at the Boston Marathon, and friends Hodges, Jerry Rauman of Tinley Park and Deb Walter of Orland marked it with photos and lightheartedness throughout the race.

Despite the tragic turn of events, Hodges and her fellow runners will return to the start line at this year's race Monday, April 21. Runners who passed the halfway mark were invited back to finish. 

"We knew as soon as they invited us back, we were going to go," Hodges said. 

"I feel like if I'm afraid and don't run it, they (the accused) win," she said. "We've got to finish it."

Her mentality is one shared by most runners, Hodges said. 

"It's not going to stop us," she said. "We're kind of a crazy group, us runners. And that spirit is still there."

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Tired of the B.S. April 12, 2014 at 02:07 PM
Good for them. Don't let the terrorist win.
Ann Kozicki April 13, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Good luck to the four of you, finish Boston strong!


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