Pair’s emotional trip to Boston USA marathon

John McGarel and Emma Beck of Boston who are in training for a marathon run. ENGEMN00120140502161219
John McGarel and Emma Beck of Boston who are in training for a marathon run. ENGEMN00120140502161219

Emma Beck and John McGarel completed an emotional Boston Marathon last week... which saw them raise a fantastic £5,000 for charity.

The couple - along with John’s sister Sarah - completed the 26-plus-mile Massachusetts course on Easter Monday.

Scenes of solidarity and defiance met them along their way as the people of our town’s American namesake lined the street to add their weight to the ‘Boston Strong’ campaign.

Just 12 months earlier, explosions at the finish line claimed three lives and left many more with life-changing injuries.

Sarah - who is originally from our Boston but was living in the city and taking part in the event at the time - was just half-a-mile from the finish line when the bombs were detonated and chaos ensued.

But last week she fulfilled her ambition of completing the course, with her brother and his partner there, also taking part.

“It was an amazing experience, it really was,” John told The Standard.

“There were people lining the streets the whole way, cheering you on. So many people were just thanking us for being there to support them.”

Boston Strong was the phrase coined by the city after the bombings, to create a togetherness and prove that terrorism would not stop them from living their everyday lives.

And last week, with 36,000 runners from 96 different countries taking part in the marathon and many more there to spectate, the point was well and truly made.

But as well as adding their support to life across the Atlantic, Emma and John also used the experience to raise more than £5,000 in sponsorship for Cancer Research - far outstripping their original target to raise £500.

On arriving in the USA, Emma and John decided to run the course together.

And despite Emma picking up an injury, she refused to give up and they crossed the line just after the six-hour mark.

“It’s not the best marathon time you’ll ever see, but we’re glad we had the experience and raised the money for charity,” John added.

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