No amount of terrorism can stop Adrianne Haslet from running a marathon. Three years after she lost her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, she’s back on the trail, tackling the 26.2 miles one jog at a time.
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis starts the 120th Boston Marathon. pic.twitter.com/YGV35Nxl9D
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2016
More than 30,000 runners hit the track for the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday morning, and Haslet was foremost among them. Another amputee from the 2013 attacks, 32-year-old Patrick Downes, also started the race on Monday.
Haslet told the Boston Herald that she’s running the marathon as a “giant screw you” to the terrorists whose bombs took part of her left leg three years back. “When I’m running and I’m feeling this pain and I’m thinking, ‘Why did I do this?’ I remember that someone tried to stop me.”
But she’s also running as a thank you to those who helped her after the attacks. “It’s for everyone I never met who sent me a note for a kind word,” she said. “It’s for Brian my prosthetist, who I met five days after the bombing and who is now getting me prepared to run a marathon. It’s for those who can’t run. It’s for those who want to run.”
“I feel honored and fortunate to be in a place where I’m physically and mentally able to do it,” Haslet said. “It really does take a village, and I claim no personal solo credit at all.”
Haslet and her husband Adam Davis were spectators at the event in 2013, but she danced at the finish line last year. Her husband was an Air Force captain who had just returned from Afghanistan before attending the marathon with his wife. He was injured with shrapnel wounds and sustained broken bones in his foot, but his only concern was getting his wife to safety. He dragged her into a nearby restaurant and used his belt as a tourniquet.
A professional ballroom dancer, Haslet taught dancing at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Park Plaza before the bombing in 2013. She initially got the running blade prosthetic in order to dance the jive faster, but soon discovered that it was too large and awkward for dancing.
This led to her to take up running. She is running with a team of four people on behalf of the Oklahoma City-based Limbs for Life Foundation, which provides prosthestics for amputees who cannot afford them.
Here’s a picture of her after the bombing in 2013.