It’s safe to say, marathoner and Kentucky Baptist Amy Compston will never forget April 15, 2013.
It’s a clear and defining marker in her life. There’s the Amy Compston before that date and the Amy Compston after that date.
The same could be said for her family members, 22 of them in all who were with her that day.
It’s the same that could be said for thousands of runners just like her who participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon that was disrupted by a terrorist attack when two consecutive explosions on the sidewalk bloodied the finish line, killing three spectators and injuring 264 others with at least 14 requiring amputations.
The race was halted, preventing many participants from finishing. More than 5,000 runners were still on the course and couldn’t complete the race. They were given medals and an entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon.
But that wasn’t Compston. She crossed the finish line about 30 minutes before the explosions detonated and sent Boston into a terrorized frenzy.
It was 2:50 EDT, race clock time of 4:09.43 — nearly two hours after the winners had completed the race — that the explosions rocked the world. Mayhem and confusion ensued not just hours, but days after the race.
Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, but the events of that day remain crystal clear for Compston, who these days is better known as the Amy in the Amy For Africa mission that works and builds schools in Uganda. The life-changing event of becoming a missionary who runs for God didn’t happen until after the Boston Marathon although it definitely had an impact. She started Amy For Africa about a month after the race.
Compston, a member of First Baptist Church of Russell, returned to Boston to run in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She’s also competed in the Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon and is an accomplished ultra-marathon runner as well.
But the 2013 Boston Marathon was her first marathon on the big running stage. Her preparation was intense, her goals secured and her anxiousness overwhelming as the day approached. Even on race day, while prepared, her nervousness was obvious. She paced and she prayed.
Her husband Chris dropped her off early on the chilly morning of April 15, 2013 so she could take a bus ride to the race starting point and he then staked out a place near the finish line so he could watch his wife fulfill a runner’s dream. Twenty-one other family members, 11 of them under 10 years old, had all come to celebrate in her completing the Boston Marathon. They would later join Chris in the jam-packed finish line area.
“It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly. Perfect running weather,” Amy remembered. “As I waited in the ‘runners’ village’ for the start of the race, an old lady approached me and asked if she could pray for me. She prayed only for my safety. I didn’t think much of it at the moment, except to think, ‘Wow that was sweet!’ But now, looking back, I see how that was the presence of God on that day.
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Source: Baptist Press