​I stepped out for a run late Sunday morning, not knowing where I was headed or where my feet would take me, just ecstatic that I am able to partake in my simple hobby. The southwest corridor bike path took me to the Back Bay and after a loop around Boston Common to the corner of Berkeley and Boylston streets. It was that same intersection where just a week ago in a medical tent at the Boston Marathon I learned that less than 20 minutes after I crossed the finish line a pair of bombs had gone off, killing three innocent spectators, injuring nearly 200 others and bruising the spirit of so many more. Just over a week ago, I wrote here about how training for marathons bears similar skills and strategic thinking as public relations. In the past week, I've considered a lot of thoughts and ideas I could write about the attacks at the marathon. But as I continue to deal with my own emotions after being so close to this act of terror, the most relevant is that the skills and mindset of marathon running is what Bostonians need to heal from this tragedy. It's going to be hard and it's going to take a long time, but the Boston community will finish this race and it will finish strong. As President Obama said in his speech-addressing all breeds of Bostonians, from the born and bred to the transplants like myself and the millions who have cycled through this shining city on a hill-at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross last week, we must push on and persevere. The marathon teaches us that. It teaches us, “To not grow weary. To not get faint. Even when it hurts. Even when our heart aches.” I can't find better words than the President's to describe how Boston and the running community will heal from this tragedy. In fact, you can see the healing already beginning through the outpouring of support from all corners of our country and even the world. While the heroic acts and flood of the support from complete strangers in the aftermath of the bombings is inspiring, as a marathon runner who has completed both the Boston Marathon and four other marathons, it's in no way surprising. Boston is unique. Its unnavigable streets and the often-harsh demeanor of its residents may give off an unwelcoming impression. Marathon Monday is a different story. It's when Boston welcomes people throughout the world with open arm. The most disturbing part of the bombing story is that they targeted spectators. Innocent spectators whose only goal that day was to support others in their marathon quest. Not all runners like running races where spectators line the street. As a runner who does, as a runner who thrives off the energy from people who stand around for hours to tell complete strangers that they will succeed and can push through the pain, to show off a funny sign and to hand out oranges or ice, this attack feels even more cowardly. Spectators don't cross a finish line of glory after a race, they don't get a medal or a fancy race t-shirt or jacket. They don't get their name printed in the paper or any of the accolades that come with completing a marathon. They are what help so many of us runners do what we crazily do. They say running is a solitary sport, but running a marathon is anything but. And Boston Marathon spectators are truly one-of-a-kind. I would not have made it through last year's 90-degree Boston Marathon if it weren't for the spectators handing out ice, spraying hoses and cheering me to Copley Square. I wouldn't have ran my second fastest marathon last week if it weren't for that girl who cheered me through a rough moment in Washington Square when I thought I was going to be sick, or the thought that my friends and boyfriend were waiting at mile 25 to give me that one last push to finish strong, or the throngs of spectators (including a few close friends who were thankfully not injured) lining Boylston Streets to support us as we crossed the finish line. Many runners-including myself-struggled with how to feel about their accomplishment of finishing or even running the miles they did last Monday. But if we give up that pride of accomplishment, we are not just letting terrorism win, but we are letting down my favorite part of marathons-and what helps me make it through 26.2 miles-the spectators. Instead, runners should share their stories and help those affected and those struggling with how to cope with the tragedy that they have the strength to make it through this ordeal. Because, as President Obama reminded us, this community is strong and when we feel like it's just too hard “around the bend a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody is there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we've hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall.” Proud to say that I finished the race. By Kate Plourd, Senior Account Executive at Solomon McCown & Company