Last year, the Boston Marathon turned to tragedy for hundreds of participants and spectators. But this year, it turned into a celebration of love and overcoming for adversity.
Greg Picklesimer was among the participants in last year's marathon; he finished the race well before the bombs went off but says the tragedy helped put everything into perspective. He ran again this year, and after completing the race, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend Carla White at the finish line. "After last year, I realized the people you love and your life can be taken so quickly,” he told CBS. “I didn’t want to lose that, so I decided to come back and seal the deal.”
Photo via Paula Ebben on Twitter
Photo via Joe Giza on Twitter
Tom Louden was prepared to run his seventh marathon in Boston this year, but an injury sidelined him. Since travel plans had already been made, he and his girlfriend, Mary, decided to enjoy the weekend in Boston anyway. On Saturday before the race, they took a walk along the route, and Louden proposed at the finish line "of the greatest marathon in the world."
John Volkman, another longtime marathoner (this year marked his 16th time running in Boston), proposed to his girlfriend Jodi Nili at the top of Heartbreak Hill along the route. "I could hardly wait to get to the top, he told The Fresno Bee. "Heartbreak Hill never seemed to easy. Of the 16 times up Heartbreak Hill, this was the most rewarding. It was pretty amazing."
Photo via Twitter
One couple who certainly understands how everything can change in an instant: Marc Fucarile and Jen Regan. The couple was engaged at the time of the 2013 Boston Marathon, where Fucarile was seriously injured while watching the race. He was positioned just a few feet away from the location of the second bomb. The explosion broke his spine, blew off his right leg, and embedded his heart and body with hundreds of pieces of shrapnel and metal BBs. He spent the next 100 days in the hospital and was the final survivor of the attacks to be released.
On Friday, just over a year later, the couple celebrated how far he's come in his recovery by tying the knot at Fenway Park; they won the wedding through a contest for couples affected by the marathon tragedy. More than a dozen local vendors donated their services to make this couple's dream wedding a reality. After a ceremony held at the EMC Club in Fenway Park, they were shuttled by Boston's Duck Boats to their reception at the Hotel Commonwealth. Boston-based punk band, the Dropkick Murphys, even played at the wedding.
Through it all, Fucarile was determined to stand with his bride on their wedding day. He and his fiancée even made a deal: "We'll get married as soon as he's able to dance," she told Cosmopolitan last year.
Photography by Nicole Chan Photography.