I know Boylston Street
But, as I write this, I can’t help but take the news coming out of Boston right now personally.
The granddaddy of all marathons – the Boston Marathon – marred by terrorism; explosions set off at the finish line; hundreds of people injured; several people dead, including an eight-year-old child.
I am outraged, horrified and so saddened.
My family has stood to cheer me on just feet from where the first explosion went off.
I know the euphoria that a runner feels when the finish line comes into view. This city embraces this marathon like no other. It’s more than a marathon; it’s an experience.
What happened in Boston is absolutely sickening.
My phone started going off shortly after noon on Patriots Day, also known as Marathon Day in Boston.
I’ve run it the last two years, three years in all. I didn’t realize how many people didn’t know I’d be sitting out this year’s race to rehab an injury after last year’s record-breaking Boston Marathon heat.
The phone rang, the texts went off and social media messages started coming in almost immediately from people wanting to know if I was okay. Right away I thought about Bonnie, my friend and executive producer who was running her first Boston Marathon. The explosions went off right about the time I figured she’d be crossing. I called her frantically and, when I got her voice mail, I panicked. I turned on the TV and sat in horror as I saw the video of the explosion and the terrified looks on the faces of spectators as they scattered like bugs. I watched in horror as runners collapsed and cried in disbelief.
I know Boylston Street well. I know how packed it gets with cheering people lined up along it, using their voices to give runners that last boost of energy. I know that last turn of the corner less than a mile from where the explosions went off. I know that had I been there this year, my sister, my daughter and my fiancé would have been just feet from where the first bomb went off, just as they had been before.
The reality of all what could have been – and all that is – is simply surreal.
For all the victims, my heart breaks. Their world will never be the same.
Bonnie crossed the finish line 15 minutes before the explosions. She was safe and we were all so relieved.
When my co-anchor walked in to work today, the first thing he did was give me a hug.
We both got emotional tonight during the newscast, thinking about the “what ifs.”
Tonight we couldn’t help but show we are more than just faces on a screen. We are real people with real emotions.
Tonight the news got personal and we weren’t afraid to show it.
Catherine Anaya anchors CBS 5 News weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 10 p.m. She is a mother of two, marathon runner and motivational speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org; connect with her on Facebook, twitter and at CatherineAnaya.com.