Shuheng Lin runs in Lu Lingzi’s Memory

By Dian Zhang

BU News Service

On a rainy Tuesday night, Shuheng Lin (GRS’16) started her daily training on the treadmill at the FitRec center. As one of seven people selected from the BU community, Lin will run this year’s 26.2-mile Boston Marathon on April 21, in honor of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), one of the three victims of last year’s marathon bombings.

Lin,  a Ph.D student in  Economics, was working at her office during last year’s marathon, but she was following the race online.

She was shocked by the bombs and was even more astonished to find out Lingzi, a Chinese student at BU, was killed in the tragedy.

“I got to know her from her father’s eulogy,” said Lin. “And I have a lot of admiration for her. She had a passion for life, she excelled at school, and she was such a talented musician.”

Lin didn’t know Lingzi personally but the two shared a common experience.

They were both international students from China, studying in the same school, trying hard to adapt to a brand new culture here in the U.S.  Lin says the culture assimilation is long and challenging, which Lin says is a like  a marathon race.

When Lin saw the opportunity to run for Lu Lingzi on BU Today in early February, she signed up with no hesitation.

“A marathon race reminds me of my experiences in this country,” said Lin. “It allows me to come to terms with my limitations, and also cultivates tenacity and positive energy.”

Soon after BU and the Lu family announced which students were selected to run, Lin  and the six other runners started their marathon training.

Lin and the others were left with only 11 weeks before the marathon, compared to a typical 16-week training period.  Jennifer Carter-Battaglino (SED’03), is an instructor of a FitRec marathon training class and also one of the seven who will run  in Lingzi’s memory. She is helping the other runners with a personalized training schedule.

Lin has to run four days a week with a different training focus each day. She usually has a tempo run for six to eight miles on Monday, and adds two more miles on Tuesday’s medium-long run session. On Thursday, there’s a track workout.. Lin and the six other runners usually gather on Saturday for a long run ranging from 14 to 20 miles.

Lauren Ferraro, a nutritionist working at BU’s Sargent Nutrition  Center is offering a class focused on hydration and proper nutrition for distance runners. Lin and the other runners learned how to adjust to a healthy distance running status by managing their eating habits.

“There are people really running fast even in a long run like the marathon, but I’m not one of them,” said Lin, laughing. “I usually run 6 miles in one hour. And a 16-mile run usually takes me three hours.”

As a fifth year PhD student, Lin has a busy schedule preparing for her dissertation, usually staying at her office from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

After finishing her work at the office, she still has to go to the gym or run around the Charles River at night.  Lin has a pinched nerve in her back, which makes running more difficult. Before running on a track, she usually runs on the treadmill for 30 minutes, listening to her pace and making some adjustments accordingly. After the training, she needs to do some stretch exercise to prevent further injury.

Lin ran in the 2012 Chicago Marathon and she said it took her 5 hours to finish. Because the seven BU students  are running in honor of Lu Lingzi, they are exempt from needing a qualifying time.

Lin has organized her own fundraising page on People can donate to the Lingzi Scholarship foundation. Lin’s fundraising page is (, and has raised $685 so far.

On April 14, BU held a memorial service for Lu Lingzi at Marsh

Chapel. Lin joined the Lu family and Lingzi’s friends and she couldn’t stop her tears when listening to people talking about Lingzi in Chinese, which to Lin is not only her mother tongue but also a symbol of home.

“What I learned from that is we shouldn’t sink in the sadness anymore,” said Lin. “Instead, we have to carry on Lingzi’s spirit and keep moving on.”

History Made at 2014 Boston Marathon

By Justine Hofherr, Megan Turchi, Claire Felter and Andre Khatchaturian
BU News Service

Not only were there more spectators and runners at today’s Boston Marathon than ever before, but history was also made at the finish line, as men’s elite runner, Meb Keflezighi, became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since Greg Meyer did in 1983 with a personal best of 2:08:37.

Keflezighi had a huge lead of about 90 seconds with two miles ago, but he had that lead cut to six seconds in the last two miles by Wilson Chebet.

“Toward the end I was a little bit nervous,” said Keflezighi. “I came to the Citgo sign and I said, ‘I got one mile to go.’ I’m almost 39 and I just ran a personal best and just won the Boston Marathon.”

Keflezighi was born in Eritrea and moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. He trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif and was a former cross country runner at UCLA.

There was also history made in the women’s race as Kenyan Rita Jeptoo finished at a record time of 2:18:57. This was Jeptoo’s third win, second consecutive, and as the native Kenyan crossed the finish line she stretched her arms and tilted her head to the sky.

The previous record–2:20:43, was set by Margaret Okayo of Kenya in 2002.

Last year, Jeptoo finished with a time of 2:23:43, but her win was marred by the Boston Marathon bombings on Boylston Street, which exploded around 2:50 p.m.

From the wheelchair group, Tatyana McFadden won the race with a time of one hour, 35 minutes, and six seconds for the women.

“My time was pretty fast here in Boston, especially with all the climbs,” said McFadden after the race. “I was really happy with today. It’s just been a whirlwind and excitement and lots of training and hard work.”

Finally, from the men, Ernst F. Van Dyk of South Africa won the wheelchair discipline with a time of 1:20:36.

About one million spectators lined the course throughout the race from Hopkington to the finish line on Boylston Street.

Other winners:

Wheelchair Women’s:

1. Tatyana McFadden, USA, 1:35:06

2. Wakako Tsuchida, JPN, 1:37:24

3. Susannah Scaroni, USA. 1:38:33

Wheelchair Men’s:

1. Ernst F. Van Dyk, RSA, 1:20:36

2. Kota Hokinoue, JPN, 1:21:14

3. Masazumi Soejima, JPN, 1:21:14

Elite Women’s:

1. Rita Jeptoo, KEN, 2:18:57

2. Buzunesh Deba, ETH, 2:19:59

3. Mare Dibaba, ETH, 2:20:35

Elite Men’s:

1. Meb Keflezighi, USA, 2:08:37

2. Wilson Chebet, KEN, 2:08:48

3. Frankline Chepwony, KEN, 2:08:50

Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial

By Nicolette Overton

BU News Service

The McKim Exhibit Hall is nearly full, but quiet, even for a library. Couples walk hand in hand, mothers quietly answer their children’s questions and some people wipe away tears. They are all here to see the Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial exhibition, organized to honor the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“We are remembering what happened last year,” Cassie Leventhal, 26, said, who ran track and field at Northeastern University and now lives in New York City.

She is running the Boston Marathon this year.

“It’s cathartic,” Johnny Leo, 39, an art dealer with Fountain Art Fair in New York City said.  He came to the exhibition with Leventhal.

“We came to pay our respects,” Leventhal said.

Rainey Tisdale curated Dear Boston using the items left in memoriam after the Boston Marathon bombing last year.

“Very shortly, the day after, police blocked off Boylston and people started leaving things at the barricades,” Marta Crilly said on the phone, an archivist for reference and outreach at the City of Boston Archives.

Crilly said when the police removed the barricades, city workers moved most of the items into Copley Square. At that time, fragile items were taken to the Mayor’s office.

“They contacted us and said, ‘We have these items, they need to be saved. Can you help us?’” Crilly said.

About two weeks after the Boston Marathon, the archives received the initial set of paper items from the Mayor’s office.

Items left at the barricades and in Copley Square include running shoes, paper signs, flags from countries around the world, flowers, sports jerseys, sunglasses, hats, and stuffed animals all with words of encouragement, love and solidarity.

Artifacts are on display from around the world (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).
Artifacts are on display from around the world (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).

Leventhal said that trying to make everyone happy without starting controversy was the hardest part in creating a memorial exhibit.

“Representatives of different cultural institutions were involved in strategies for public access and saving the items,” Crilly said.

The exhibition showcases most of these items in Plexiglas cases. The exhibit’s centerpiece is a dais with a quilt-like arrangement of running shoes.

The placard states: “Running shoes were what distinguished the Boston Marathon bombing’s makeshift memorial from those commemorating other American tragedies. Hundreds of runners left their shoes – a clear symbol of their identity as runners- at Copley Square.”

Some of the shoes left at the memorial (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).
Some of the shoes left at the memorial (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).

Dear Boston has enlarged photographs of the memorial site, which act as dividers for the sections of the exhibit. There is also a slideshow of photographs that plays on repeat.

Next to the viewing area for the slideshow are three potted trees covered in small white tags with messages written in bright-colored markers. Visitors can write messages and hang them on the trees or sign a guestbook on the way out.

“I thought leaving messages was therapeutic,” Leventhal said. “We could only witness from a distance last year. We all wanted to jump in a car and take Highway 84 up here.”

A girl writes a message to be hung on one of the potted trees (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).
A girl writes a message to be hung on one of the potted trees (Nicolette Overton, BU News Service).

Leventhal has run other marathons, but this is her first time running the Boston Marathon.

“It was my grandfather’s dying wish that I run in Boston,” Leventhal said.  She is running for Dana-Farber Cancer Institue.

Leventhal just missed the cut-off for qualifying times for her age group, but she said she was going to run for Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team anyway. She has had five family members treated there and her uncle is there now.

“Boston’s the Holy Grail of running,” Leventhal said. Her bib number is 26213 and she is running in wave three, corral nine, which starts at 11 a.m.

Crilly said that many items that were not on display at the Dear Boston exhibit are being digitized. To see these items and get more information go to

The Dear Boston exhibition is open through Sunday, May 11 during library hours in the McKim Exhibit Hall at the Central branch of the Boston Public Library.

Dreamfar Organization Trains Teens to Run

By Andrew Prince

BU News Service

More than a year ago, the finish line of the Boston Marathon, located on Boylston Street between Dartmouth Street and Exeter Street, was the scene of explosions, chaos and blood when shrapnel from two pressure cooker bombs tore through the legs of runners and bystanders resulting in hundreds of injuries, dozens of amputations and three deaths.

On Saturday, two days before the 118th Boston Marathon, more than 8,600 runners crossed that same finish line to complete the 2014 Boston Athletic Association 5K. Among those who ran were about 100 students from nine high schools in the Boston area who are training for a marathon themselves, the Cox Providence Marathon on May 4, in Rhode Island—they are too young to run Boston.

“Most of our kids could barely ever run a mile other than the mile you run at phys ed,” Jamie Chaloff, founder and director of Dreamfar High School Marathon, said in October, before training had begun.

Over the next six months, the students were given mentors to train with during the week. On Saturdays, the students gathered in Brookline to train together.

Chaloff worked in special needs education before starting Dreamfar six years ago. She runs the organization out of her house, just like she had with Purple Cow Pre-School years ago. A purple cow figurine still sits on a shelf as soon as you enter her Chestnut Hill house coming through the basement. Chaloff wears feathers in her highlighted brown hair to appear more approachable to the students, she said. And she paints her nails orange, a Dreamfar color, with 26.2 written in her thumbnail for motivation.

“We were looking for the kids that sort of fall through the cracks at school,” Chaloff said. “The honors kids have their honors classes and their AP classes and the athletes have their sports and have their teams. But there are a bunch of kids in high schools that just don’t connect to anybody and connectedness is just so important. If every student has someone to connect to, an adult in the high school, it just makes their entire high school experience that much easier.”

Fatima Ezzahra El Krimi, 15, from Morocco, arrived in America in March 2013. “I don’t miss it,” said Fatima in a telephone interview. She joined Dreamfar because she wanted a physical activity to replace soccer, which she hasn’t had much opportunity to play here.

“I love running,” said Fatima, who didn’t know any English when she arrived in America. She taught herself by watching the news and looking up words on her computer during class. “I want to prepare now to run in the Boston Marathon. Mr. Bob really supports me a lot.”

“Mr. Bob” is Bob Aftosmes-Tobio, Fatima’s running mentor and algebra teacher at Mary Lyon Pilot High School. His wife, Alyssa, is also a mentor and project manager at Harvard’s School of Public Health. The couple combined their last names (Bob Tobio and Alyssa Aftosmes) when they got married, and they are among some other Dreamfar mentors running the Boston Marathon.

Bob wears glasses and has a beard and long brown hair that he puts in a ponytail. Alyssa has short red hair that sweeps across her head from left to right. They live in a sea-green two-story house in Roxbury, which they have been renovating. Furniture is scattered around the house and blue painting tape hugs most of the corners of the walls. A Dreamfar poster leans against the wall just inside the front door. They sit next to each other on a beige couch in the middle of the room in their Boston Marathon jackets from last year.

“Fatima is perfect for the program,” Bob Aftosmes-Tobio said. “She never really talks as much as she talks when she’s running with Alyssa.”

“She hates running hills,” Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said.

“Oh gosh, no, I think, ‘No I can’t do it,’” Fatima Ezzahra El Krimi said. “But they say, ‘No Fatima you’re gonna do it, just keep running.’ And I just keep running because I want to do it.”

If you just push Ezzahra El Krimi a little, she responds, Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said. “I’m excited for her to finish.”

For Bob and Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio, finishing the Boston Marathon might mean healing a year-old wound. Last year was supposed to be their first marathon together—then tragedy struck. They were on Beacon Street less than two miles from the finish line when the bombs exploded.

They were both slowed in last year’s Marathon by injuries—Bob Aftosmes-Tobio by an inflamed ligament in his right knee, Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio by a hip-flexor problem, but they wanted to finish anyway. Had they been healthy, they could have been caught in the explosion, they said. Instead, National Guardsmen stopped them at Park Drive with “very big guns,” Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said.

“The realization that we were not going to finish was too much,” Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said. “I just stood there crying until Bob said, ‘We gotta go, we have to find out where we need to be.’ Thinking back it seems selfish to think that I just couldn’t believe that we weren’t going to finish.”

One of the worst feelings, Bob Aftosmes-Tobio said, was facing the confused spectators and runners looking to them for answers, some following the couple back to their hotel room. It was only once they got to the hotel room and turned on the news that they knew what had happened.

“Who would ever want to hurt runners?” Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said she remembers thinking.

They both finished the Providence Marathon but “it didn’t fill the void of Boston,” Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said. A year later, their emotions are still damaged, Alyssa Aftosmes-Tobio said. Now, they have another chance to finish what they couldn’t last year.

“To finish a marathon is like the like step one of healing, I guess,” Bob Aftosmes-Tobio said.


Disclosure note: The author of this article has agreed to film the organization’s activities for use in a promotional video.

Boston Marathon Course Time-Lapse

Can’t run 26.2 miles? Don’t fret. Check out this timelapse of the entire Boston Marathon route from Hopkinton to Boylston, and you can experience the race from anywhere you desire.

Saucony’s Limited Edition Running Shoes

By Tafi Mukunyadzi
BU News Service

BOSTON–Even though is was a blistery, yet warm, Monday night and exactly one week before the 2014 Boston Marathon, runners were partying on Boylston Street.

Saucony and the Marathon Sports store rolled out the green carpet to welcome the fortunate few who managed to snag a pair of the Kinvara 5 Boston Edition running shoes. Just a few feet away from the legendary race’s finish line, a line of runners formed within the Marathon Sports store’s compact space to pick up their pair of limited edition running gear that was available for pre-order on Marathon Sports’ website. Once they picked up their shoes,
runners walked a few blocks down Boylston Street to the Back Bay Social Club where they mingled with other Kinvaraphiles while enjoying cocktails and appetizers in the restaurant’s event space. Some guests were festively dressed in St. Patrick’s Day attire, while one couple walked around in green and yellow feather boas.

The footwear they were celebrating is unabashedly unique, much like the city it commemorates. Named after a small seaside village in Ireland, the shoe’s bright green and gold color scheme with shamrocks and “Boston” emblazoned across the sides and back oozes Irish pride and makes sure that its proud owner will be seen.

One of those people will be Dorchester resident, Alyssa Quattropani. With her black athletic jacket, neon-yellow t-shirt, and yoga pants, Quattropani looked ready to jump into her new shoes and take off at that very moment. Her brunette hair was pulled back by a ponytail and secured with a thin headband that read ‘13.1 Once Upon a Run,’ Quattropani said that she now owns all five versions of the ultra-lightweight Kinvara shoe. When asked why she decided to buy the limited edition shoes, Quattropani, who is running the Boston 5K this Saturday and hopes to run the Boston Half Marathon, said that she has always worn Saucony shoes so when a pair in honor of her hometown became available, she could not pass up the opportunity.

As excited as Quattropani was to get home, open her box, and see her shoes for the first time, she was even more excited to transfer the metal clip that read Boston Strong from the laces of the Kinvara 4s she was wearing to her new kicks.

The bright green 2014 running shoes are the fifth generation in the Kinvara collection, but only the third Boston Edition. According to Saucony General Manager of Apparel Todd Dalhausser, who was at the release party, the Lexington-based company sold 340 pairs of shoes within 48 hours, and that 130 of those pairs of shoes were picked up last night at the party. The rest of the pre-ordered shoes will be shipped to their owners. The general public will be able to purchase a pair through Saucony starting April 18th.

Dalhausser emphasized that Saucony did not produce a limited edition shoe because of the tragic events of last year’s Boston Marathon. “The community of runners is tight,” said Dalhausser and the latest edition is a way of celebrating that community and the city which has always been site of the unveiling of all new Kinvara designs. Saucony. All proceeds from this year’s limited edition Kinvara shoes will be donated to The One Fund.

Taking the ‘Heartbreak’ out of Heartbreak Hill

By Samantha Pickette
BU News Service

Marathon14 LogoIt’s April 20, 1936.  1935 Boston Marathon champion Johnny Kelley trails Ellison “Tarzan” Brown on the stretch of four foothills on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton.  On the third hill, Kelley catches up with Brown, patting him on the shoulder as he passes by, and moves into first place.  Kelley’s brazenness fuels Brown’s determination, and on the fourth and final hill, Brown surpasses Kelley and goes on to win the 1936 Boston Marathon.

Boston Globe reporter Jerry Nason immortalized Kelley’s disappointing defeat by nicknaming the fourth hill where Brown definitively pulled ahead of Kelley “Heartbreak Hill,” an epithet that has stuck for the past 78 years.

Heartbreak Hill, the stretch of Commonwealth Avenue between Centre Street and Hammond Street in Newton, is less than a mile long.  Located in a largely residential area, the road is wide, with an island full of trees in the middle of the street and stately Colonial and Victorian houses lining both sides.  In a car, Heartbreak Hill is innocuous at best — blink once and you’ll miss it.  Yet, as the final hill in a series of four challenging hills that begins at mile 17 and ends at mile 21, Heartbreak Hill is arguably the most difficult and most iconic point in the Boston Marathon course.  It is also the location of Heartbreak Hill Running Company (HHRC), founded in April 2012 by two former Boston College track stars, Dan Fitzgerald and Justin Burdon.

Located at the base of the hill, HHRC is truly a store for runners, by runners.  A water cooler sits outside the store’s front door for any runners who need a drink while they are training.  On Saturdays, when many marathoners pass the store on training runs, HHRC’s mascot, Heartbreak Bill the Gorilla, stands outside the store, cheering people on as they go and taking pictures with passers-by.

The store embraces the spirit of the hill, and rightly so — on Marathon day, HHRC is one of the first things that runners see as they begin their final ascent.  As former members of the track team at B.C., Fitzgerald and Burdon are more than familiar with what it is like to run up Heartbreak Hill, which ends in Boston College territory.

“Running for Boston College, Heartbreak Hill was a very significant piece of our training,” Fitzgerald said.  “We ran hundreds of miles up that hill in our college careers and when we saw the opportunity for us to open a space there and name it after the hill and after our years of experience there, it was pretty exciting for us.”

For Fitzgerald and the rest of the staff at HHRC, Heartbreak Hill is not a source of fear or an impossible roadblock that stands in the way of marathon glory.  As HHRC Manager and former Boston College runner Louis Serafini explains, what makes Heartbreak Hill particularly challenging is not its length or elevation grade, it’s the fact that the hill comes at the 20-mile mark, when runners are already exhausted and may not have saved enough energy to conquer the hill.  But, Serafini says that Heartbreak Hill is doable if approached with a positive mindset.

“It’s a tough hill and I can imagine it’s a lot harder at mile 20 of a marathon,” he said.  “But, once you get over that hill, you’ve got a downhill for a little bit and then it’s all flat all the way home.  So, it’s a matter of getting up the hill, recovering, and then just looking forward to the finish line.”

And, Serafini said that it also helps that on Marathon Monday, runners are greeted at the crest of Heartbreak Hill by the Boston College Marching Band and by hundreds of rowdy students whose cheers carry the athletes to the top and motivate them to push through the final 10K of the race.

Still, even with all the excitement, the climb may be easier said than done.  Runner’s World reports that of the major city marathon hills, Heartbreak is actually one of the tamer hills, rising less than 100 feet from base to summit.  But, it makes that nearly 100-foot climb in 0.75 miles, resulting in one of the highest elevation grades (3.3 percent) of any hill on a major marathon course.  This means that Heartbreak is a relentless, albeit relatively short, challenge for runners who, by the time they reach it, will have 20 miles and several hours weighing on their legs.

In order to make the hill seem less daunting, HHRC hosts a Wednesday night Hill Club, where Serafini and other staff members lead runners of all levels of ability in workouts up and down Heartbreak Hill.  HHRC also created the “Firehouse Run,” a 10-mile marathon training route based on Boston College track workouts that culminates in the series of hills on Commonwealth Avenue and ends with Heartbreak Hill.

“If you can do that route at a decent pace, you’re in pretty good shape,” Serafini said.

In addition to starting the various running clubs at HHRC, Fitzgerald is also coaching Team Red Cross, the Mass General Hospital Marathon Team, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Marathon Team — a total of 330 athletes — for this year’s Boston Marathon.

Shannon Sawyer, a 32-year-old attorney from Natick, is running for the MGH Marathon Team this year.  It is her 10th marathon and fifth Boston Marathon.  While the Heartbreak Hill-centric workouts and long runs ranging anywhere from 10 miles to 22 miles have helped Sawyer to feel physically prepared, she said that it is Fitzgerald’s realistic training pointers that have primed her mentally for Marathon Monday.

“It’s reassuring when he acknowledges that our legs will be tired, we will be sore, and we will have some bad runs,” she said.  “These reminders are nicely balanced with encouragement and reassurance that we’ve come a really long way and will be ready to run on April 21.”

Fitzgerald, 35, and Serafini, 22, have both been running since middle school.  They agree that whether a person is an experienced runner or a beginner, the most important part of training successfully for a marathon is mental toughness.

“The number one thing is focus and remembering what you’re training for,” Serafini said.  “It’s really hard to get up on a Saturday morning and run 20 miles.  Having that focus gets you there.”

On Marathon Monday, HHRC will have a cheering section outside the store made up of employees, friends, and the hundreds of people who line Commonwealth Avenue in order to encourage the runners as they embark on one of the most difficult portions of the race, a 0.75 mile stretch that has managed to defeat even the best runners, including 61-time Boston Marathon finisher and two-time champion Johnny Kelley.

“Heartbreak Hill is the key point in the race for sure,” Fitzgerald said.  “But it’s important to understand that the marathon is just a run.  If you train for it, you can do it.  That’s the bottom line.”


Thousands Jam City Streets to Celebrate Sox

The "Red Sox bullpen cop," Steve Horgan, took his signature pose during the parade. (Photo by Dana Hatic)
The “Red Sox bullpen cop,” Steve Horgan, strikes his signature pose during the parade. (Photo by Dana Hatic)

By Nick Hansen
BU News Service

As hundreds of thousands of fans lined the city’s streets loudly cheering them on, the Boston Red Sox’ “Rolling Rally” snaked through the city on Saturday to celebrate their World Series victory. A fleet of “duck boats,” which travel on land and water, carried the players, staff, and a few musicians from Fenway Park down Boylston Street, the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, into downtown Boston, and then for a ride down the Charles River.

“I wanted to be here because everybody else was,” said John Hanes of Concord, Mass. He had seen earlier World Series victories by the Red Sox, but he was especially impressed with this team. “This year you felt like it wasn’t about the money,” said Hanes. (Even though the Red Sox had the fourth-highest payroll in Major League Baseball this season.)

The day’s atmosphere reflected the quirky nature of this year’s team. There were fake beards, ski goggles, and clever signs everywhere. Fans held signs reading “Beard Champs,” “Worst to First,” “Big Papi for Mayor.” One congratulated the “World Series Cup Winners,” tweaking Boston Mayor Tom Menino for a gaffe he made earlier this week. One man walked down Boylston street shouting, “Game seven tickets, get your tickets,” even though the team won the game in six.  There were also “rally monkeys” for sale along with loud vuvuzela horns. A man in a Wheaties Box costume that showed pictures of this year’s team was greeted with cheers walking down Boylston Street.

The victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were remembered when an announcement came over the loudspeakers hooked up to each of the duck boats asking for a moment of prayer. The crowd joined in a rendition of “God Bless America.” Further down the road, in one of the most touching moments of the day, Red Sox players Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia got out of their boats and placed the World Series trophy at the Marathon finish line along with a jersey that read “Boston Strong 617.” Boston’s area code is 617. 

Forum restaurant and bar, which was the location of the second marathon explosion, was packed with parade watchers. Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster pointed at the crowd standing on the patio and cheered them on.

The parade was extra special to some. “This year it means a little bit more,” said Heather Rakoski from Onset, Mass., who wished she could be celebrating with her niece, who was studying abroad in Australia.

Many fans didn’t expect this day to come, as the Red Sox were predicted to finish last in their division after a dreadful 2012 season. Kyle Rigsby, Todd Daron, and David Harr, who have been friends since high school, were in town to play a baseball tournament at Fenway Park on Sunday. “We thought we were going to play in October, but it kept getting pushed back because they were doing so well,” said Rigsby. “It’s surreal to be here,” he added.

Middlesex County Prosecutors Win Bid to Arraign Accused Marathon Bomber in MIT Shooting

[BU News Service Full Coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings]

(BU News Service & CNN Wire) — Middlesex County prosecutors won a default warrant for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Monday morning in Middlesex Superior Court allowing the Massachusetts prosecutors to arraign the accused Boston Marathon bomber on charges of murdering an MIT police officer in Cambridge last April.

Tsarnaev is in federal custody for allegedly planting the bombs that exploded at the marathon finish line, killing three and wounding more than 260. The 20-year-old could face the death penalty if convicted.

Back in June, Tsarnaev was indicted by a county grand jury for Officer Sean Collier’s murder.

A statement released by District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said, “It is the intention of the Middlesex District Attorney that the defendant stand trial for these charges in Middlesex County.”

Tsarnaev will likely not appear in state court until after his federal trial is complete.

Earlier this month, Tsarnaev’s lawyers asked a federal judge to ease the restrcitions on Tsarnaev at the prison in Fort Devens. The lawyers claim keeping Tsarnaev in solitary confinement isolates him from his family and legal team, and is an “unlawful and unwarranted” measure.

The court filing further argued that “The government has not alleged that Mr. Tsarnaev has done or said anything since his arrest to commit violence, incite violence, or engage in communications that pose a security threat.”

Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, are accused of planting pressure-cooker bombs that exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown on April 19.

Here is a look at what you need to know about the Boston Marathon terror attack:

On April 15, 2013, double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured at least 264.


  • Martin Richard, 8, a student at Neighborhood House Charter School in Boston.
  • Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Massachusetts.
  • Lingzi Lu, a graduate student at Boston University. She was originally from China.

Other Facts:

  • The bombs exploded 12 seconds apart near the marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street.
  • According to Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, the bombs contained BB-like pellets and nails.
  • One of the bombs was contained in a pressure cooker, hidden inside a black backpack, according to the FBI.
  • The FBI says that the second bomb was also in a metal container, but they have not yet determined if it was also in a pressure cooker.
  • The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning in 2004 about pressure cooker bombs. Instructions for making this type of explosive are widely available on the Internet.


April 15, 2013 – At approximately 2:50pm, two bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The bombs explode within 8-12 seconds of each other, about 50-100 yards apart.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac announces that federal authorities have imposed temporarily flight restrictions over central Boston. The restrictions bar air traffic below 3,000 feet for two nautical miles around the bombing site (reduced from three) and do not affect commercial air traffic at the city’s international airport.

At 6:10 p.m., President Barack Obama speaks to reporters at the White House, “We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

April 16, 2013 – President Obama, speaking at the White House at 11:30 a.m., describes the bombings as an act of terrorism.

Frederic Wittman, chairman of the board of trustees of the Neighborhood House Charter School in Boston, confirms that one of the people killed is 8-year-old Martin Richard. Richard’s sister and mother are hospitalized with serious injuries.

Michael McGlynn, mayor of Medford, Massachusetts confirms that one of the people killed in the attack is 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.
Boston University and the Chinese consulate in New York confirm that the third victim is a female graduate student from China. At the request of her parents, her name is not released at that time.

Officials confirm that there were only two bombs, despite earlier reports that other unexploded devices had been found.
Authorities including bomb experts search an apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, and remove items. Officials caution that there are no clear suspects — and the motive remains unknown.

April 17, 2013 – A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that the lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings has been found on a rooftop at the scene.

The name of the third victim is released by Boston University: Lingzi Lu, a graduate student studying math and statistics.
Purported miscommunications between government officials lead several news organizations, including CNN, to report prematurely that a suspect had been arrested and was in custody.

April 18, 2013 – President Obama attends an interfaith memorial service inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. About 2,000 people fill the cathedral, “The Boston Globe” reports, with about half the seats reserved for the public. The audience also includes scores of police officers and other first responders.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, considered the world’s foremost expert on victim compensation, is announced as the administrator of The One Fund Boston, a fund to assist individuals affected by the attacks.

At a press conference, the FBI releases pictures of two male suspects they are seeking in connection with the bombings.
Late in the evening, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer named Sean Collier is shot and killed on campus, allegedly by the bombing suspects.

April 19, 2013 – In the early morning hours, the suspected bombers allegedly hijack a car in Cambridge. The driver is released about 30 minutes later. As the police chase the suspects, the car’s occupants throw explosives out the windows and exchange gunfire with officers. One of the suspected bombers is apprehended, but authorities say the other suspect retrieves a vehicle and runs over him as police attempt to handcuff him. The suspect is wounded and later dies at Beth Israel Hospital. He had bullet wounds and injuries from an explosion according to officials.

Boston police identify the bombing suspects as 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers from Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are of Chechen origin and legally immigrated to the U.S. at different times. Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been identified as the person killed in the encounter with police earlier in the morning, while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, remains at large.

Throughout the day, hundreds of law enforcement officers go door-to-door on 20 streets in Watertown, looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who authorities believe is still in Massachusetts. Boston-area residents are asked by authorities to stay inside as the hunt continues for the suspect.

Between 6 and 7 p.m., Watertown resident David Henneberry goes out for air and to inspect his boat soon after the lockdown is lifted, and “saw a man covered with blood under a tarp.”

8:15 p.m. – Authorities announce they have a person they believe to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cornered on a boat in a yard in Watertown, Massachusetts. At some point, law enforcement agents are able to seize the suspect. He is transported to a local hospital in “serious condition.”

April 20, 2013 – A Justice Department official tells CNN that federal terrorism charges against Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be filed soon, even as he remains hospitalized. The 19-year-old could also face murder charges at the state level. There is no death penalty in Massachusetts, but Tsarnaev could face that punishment at the federal level.

April 22, 2013 – Tsarnaev is charged by the U.S. government with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.

May 1, 2013 – Three 19-year-olds are arrested in connection with the bombings. The three men are accused of helping bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the bombing. Federal prosecutors say Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Robel Phillipos took items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the bombing to throw investigators off their friend’s trail. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are foreign nationals charged with obstruction of justice, they were both initially held on unrelated visa issues. Phillipos is an American citizen and is charged with lying to federal agents.

May 2, 2013 – The body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev is claimed, and is picked up by a funeral home, according to Terrel Harris, spokesman for the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

May 6, 2013 – Robel Phillipos is released into his mother’s custody on $100,000 bail.

May 9, 2013 – Tamerlan Tsarnaev is buried in a Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia. This is after cemeteries in Massachusetts and elsewhere refuse to allow his burial.

May 22, 2013 – An FBI agent shoots and kills Ibragim Todashev in Orlando, Florida while questioning the Chechen about his relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev after cell phone records connect the two. Todashev tells the agent that Tsarnaev participated in a 2011 gruesome triple homicide that was drug related. The confrontation between the FBI agent and Todashev turns violent after Todashev lunges at the agent with a weapon.

July 10, 2013 – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty to 30 federal charges related to the April attacks.

July 18, 2013 – In response to a Rolling Stone magazine cover, Police Sgt. Sean Murphy releases photos of a bloody Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the day of his capture.

August 13, 2013 – Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov plead not guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with intent to impede authorities.

August 19, 2013 – The testimony of the trauma surgeon who treated Tsarnaev is unsealed, revealing the extent of his wounds, including multiple gun shot wounds that pierced the base of his skull, mouth and vertebrae. Unsealed documents also reveal that Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda rights until three days after he was detained.

September 13, 2013 – Robel Phillipos pleads not guilty to making false statements to federal officials, and Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov reenter their not guilty pleas. Tamerlan Tsarneav’s in-laws appear before a federal grand jury in Boston. Details of the four-hour session are not immediately released.


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Fans Unite at Fenway After Tumultuous Week

Flag Roll from Billie Weiss on Vimeo.

Nick Hansen
BU News Service

One of the most notable lyrics from the unofficial Boston Red Sox anthem, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, is “good times never seemed so good.” That line rang especially true on a cool Saturday afternoon in Fenway Park. Red Sox fans were happy to be watching baseball back at their home stadium after the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, which killed three people and injured over a hundred more and resulted in a manhunt that brought the entire metro area to a standstill on Friday.

The day was an emotional release, an opportunity for remembrance and to say thanks, and a symbol that things were returning to normal in Boston.

“We need our routine back,” said Sarah Carroll, a Red Sox Foundation volunteer who was wearing a Boston Marathon volunteer jacket and collecting donations for Mayor Menino’s One Fund on Yawkey Way plaza prior to the game. Carroll had also volunteered for the Marathon handing out medals to finishers.

“It kind of gives you the chills, but it’s also invigorating,” she said, describing Saturday’s atmosphere.

The logo “B Strong” spread across the park, appearing on posters handed out before the game, on hats, and on a new sign displayed proudly on the Green Monster.

The Red Sox paid tribute to the first responders, marathon volunteers, and those affected by this week’s events in an emotional pre-game ceremony that featured an appearance by Governor Deval Patrick.

“Today we gather as one and we affirm to ourselves and to each other that we are one: one community, one nation, one world, full of love, full of compassion, and full of generosity,” said the Red Sox public address announcer. “We will run another Marathon. It will be bigger and better than ever,” he said.

Three people who were affected by Monday’s events threw ceremonial first pitches: Matt Patterson, a firefighter from Lynn, Massachusetts, who saved multiple lives after hearing the blast from a restaurant where he was eating with friends; Steven Byrne, a spectator from Lowell who was severely injured by shrapnel while watching the race near the finish line; and Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father-son tandem who have taken part in 31 marathons. Dick rolled his son onto the field in his wheelchair.

During an a cappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, which was announced as a new Boston tradition, volunteers unfurled a giant American flag over the Green Monster wall in left field. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz finished the ceremony by thanking Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, and members of the police. “This is our [expletive] city and nobody gonna dictate us with it,” said Ortiz to a cheering crowd.

Fans were not deterred by the increased security presence at the game. Many happily welcomed the uniformed officers, and fans gave fist bumps and handshakes to many of the Boston police officers at the game as a few officers posed for pictures with fans.

Many people relished the opportunity to come to the park.

“There is literally no other place I’d be on this earth rather than right here at Fenway,” said Michael Walters Young, a twenty-something Brighton resident originally from Lawrence, Kan. Michael said he usually favored the visiting Kansas City Royals. He wore a powder blue Royals T-Shirt and a Red Sox hat with a blue and yellow ribbon, a symbol of the Boston Marathon recovery efforts. “Normally, I’m all clad in power blue, but not after this week’s events,” he said.

Mary Bouvier, a Red Sox fan from South Portland, Maine, has been coming to games at Fenway for over 40 years and said she had never seen anything like it.

“Not even the World Series or playoff games felt like this. There is something extremely special about this game,” she said prior to entering the stadium.

The Red Sox jerseys read “Boston” instead of the usual “Red Sox” to give a sense of unity to the day, which was highlighted by an appearance from Neil Diamond, who sang Sweet Caroline in the middle of the eighth inning.

Even though the Red Sox won 4-3 after Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, the final score did not seem important to most people: some fans had other things on their minds. A tweet displayed on the jumbotron in the middle of the game simply read, “Healing at Fenway.”