Once thwarted by the Boston bombings, this marathoner prepares for the Paris Marathon post-Charlie Hebdo

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Marco Werman: Since January this year, Boston and Paris have sadly encountered common ground. That’s what the story of this next person is about. On the day that the bombs tore through crowds near the finish line here in Boston, Mackenzie Loy was hoping to finish her first Boston Marathon. She was running with her dad. Like thousands of other runners that day though, they did not finish--organizers stopped the race after the explosion. But the father and his daughter lined up again to run in 2014 and nothing stopped them. Mackenzie spoke recently with my WGBH colleague, Elizabeth Ross, and described what she and her dad were feeling as they neared the finish line last year.


Mackenzie Loy: To be honest, we weren’t running too fast at that point, and we were able to talk a little bit. He was saying “This is the last marathon I’m running. I did this for myself, I did this for you, but this is the last one.” I said “That’s quite alright. Look around. Soak it up. All of these people are cheering for you.” When we crossed the line, there were a few tears. It was a very emotional moment.


Werman: After that Mackenzie Loy set her sights on running another marathon this year. She’ll be traveling to Paris soon, another city traumatized recently by a terrorist attack.


Loy: I made my decision to run the Paris marathon this year before any attacks, before the Charlie Hebdo incident, before any military action. I paused when the news first broke about that and it’s something that my mom and I had a long conversation about, because it’s not just me that I’m bringing into this situation. Once again, my family will be at the finish line, they’ll be along the race course, they’ll be in the city, and it’s not just me. That’s something that I have reconsidered, in the fact that I’ve reconsidered my plan of action, I’ve reconsidered “Do we have an emergency plan?” But I’ve never reconsidered my decision to run. I think that, again, this is like last year--I’ve set a goal to finish it and you can’t let outside events affect your life and how you want to pursue each day and pursue your goals.


Werman: Mackenzie Loy is planning to run the Paris Marathon next month. She told her story to producer Elizabeth Ross here at WGBH in Boston.