For two of the 30,000 or so runners, crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday was unimaginably emotional. Patrick Downes and Adrianne Haslet-Davis were the first two survivors of the 2013 bombings to complete the 26.2-mile race on prosthetic limbs.
Downes crossed the Boyleston Street finish line first at 2:49 p.m., the moment the first bomb exploded at the finish line in 2013, and he immediately hugged his wife, Jessica Kensky, who lost parts of both legs in the blasts.
"I ran with the city in my heart — Martin, Sean, Lingzi, Krystle," Downes, who finished in 5 hours, 56 minutes and 46 seconds, told CBS Boston, naming the people who died in the bombings.
"I don't have words for it," Downes said. "From the get-go, people were just on our side, and that's been the case ever since April 15, 2013."
Downes hugged the father of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the blasts. Richard, his wife and two other children were injured that day.
Haslet-Davis was slowed by problems with her prosthetic left leg. "I feel amazing," she said via CBS Boston after she and her team crossed the finish line. "It's really emotional because I think of all of the definitions that this finish line has held."
President Barack Obama noticed her effort and praised her for being "Boston Strong." "Terror and bombs can't beat us," was the message he sent on Twitter. "We carry on. We finish the race!"
Running to raise money for Limbs for Life, Haslet-Davis started the race just before 9 a.m. and finished on Boyleston Street at about 7:15 p.m. There were problems along the way with her prosthesis and, at Mile 15, she reported on Instagram that she needed "a tuneup."
Afterward, there was a euphoric dinner celebration, and Haslet-Davis described herself as "filled to the brim with the utter definition of joy" on Instagram.