By Mila Besich Lira
Running a marathon is not something that everyone wants to do; many may consider it or try it but the challenge is not for the faint of heart.
There are all kinds of charity runs, 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons to pick from if you are a runner. But there is one marathon that is definitely not for the faint of heart, and that is the Boston Marathon. It is also one of the most prestigious marathons for those in the sport.
The Boston Marathon is the longest continuously running marathon in North America running since 1897 and is a race that people come from all over the world to participate in. Unlike any other charity run, a participant must qualify for the race. Depending on a participant’s age and sex, there is a time that a potential participant must qualify for to be considered as a participant in the Boston Marathon.
Now with all that in mind and understanding the challenges of the race imagine training and being selected for the race. That in itself is an accomplishment. Imagine getting to that race and starting it, getting close to the finish line and then everything coming to a screeching halt.
That was the case for Superiorrite, Andy Carrillo. Carrillo had qualified for the Boston Marathon by running in the P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon in Tempe earlier this year. For runners having the opportunity to run in the Boston Marathon is a major accomplishment. In 2013 only 26,839 were allowed to enter the race.
Normally when preparing for a marathon Carrillo goes through an 18-week training program with his running group, Bounding Moosen. Carrillo had a few challenges during his training for the Boston race: his father died, and he had gotten sick. Those setbacks did not stop him from participating.
Carrillo entered the race on that Monday morning and was enjoying the 26.2 mile trek. Enjoying the race, fans and scenery, Carrillo ran at a modest pace. Everything was going as planned. His daughter Veronica joined him at the “heartbreak hill” and ran with him for a short distance. He was almost to the end and with only 3/4 of mile left in the marathon when everything came to a screeching halt.
An unknown explosion at the finish line caused the Boston Police to stop the race. Carrillo was one of the first runners who was stopped.
“There was a gap between the first finishers and my group,” he said. From where they were at, the runners had no clue as to what was going on but they were stopped with only a little way to go.
Carrillo explained in a brief interview that his family was at the finish line waiting for him to come in. Thankfully neither he, his wife Cindy, daughter Veronica or son Tony were injured in the two blasts that went off that day. Unfortunately he was unable to finish the race, and they had to witness the horrific events of that day. The terrorists who placed the bombs walked just behind where Carrillo’s family was awaiting his arrival. That alone could be a nerve wracking experience.
After the race was stopped, he met up with his family, and like everyone else they waited to learn what had happened. To date participants in the 2013 Boston Marathon are awaiting communication from the Boston Athletic Association to find out if they will consider the race complete for those who were unable to finish due to the bombing.
The bombing has not deterred him from participating in other marathons or attempting the Boston Marathon again.
“My whole family is planning on going to Boston next year to watch me participate,” he said. “One of our runners in our running group has already qualified for the 2014 race and we are hoping to get a few more to join us along with those who want to cheer us on.”
Carrillo is a 1970 graduate of Superior High School. His parents are Mary Arvizu and the late Servando Carrillo. You can follow Andy and his running group online at http://bit.ly/13J4BY5.