Sisters Who Survived Columbine Will Run Boston Together 20 Years After Tragedy
They are running to show that anyone can overcome anything.
Almost 20 years to the day, two survivors of the Columbine High School massacre will run the Boston Marathon.
The lives of sisters Laura Hall, 34, and Sarah Bush, 36, changed forever that day in 1999 in Columbine, Colorado, when two gunmen killed 12 students and one teacher. It is a day they, and the rest of the country, will never forget.
In the immediate aftermath, they didn’t know how to heal. But since they grew up in a running family—participating in and volunteering at races like Bolder Boulder each year—lacing up would become an unexpected coping mechanism.
For Bush, who was a sophomore on the track and field team at the time of the incident, running was a way to overcome any challenge. It was a reminder that she wasn’t a victim; she was capable of doing and being anything, like a marathoner.
That was Bush’s goal in college: She wanted to run a marathon before she turned 20. Bush was on track to do that until IT band syndrome crept up on her while training. She felt defeated when she went to the doctor. But she was angry and determined when she left.
“The sports therapist said to me, ‘Some people aren’t meant to run ’” Bush told Runner’s World. “I was really mad. Nobody can tell me I can’t do something, and I proven him wrong, because this Boston will be my 11th marathon.”
For seven years after the tragedy, Hall—who was a freshman when the tragedy occurred—struggled to cope until she embraced running as a form of therapy.
The moment this sunk in arrived as she trained for her first marathon in 2006.
“It is so important to choose to be hopeful, and whatever you choose, whether that’s running or sewing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hall told Runner’s World. “Both Sarah and I have been in that tunnel, and we live happy and fulfilling lives, and running is a huge part of that.”
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