Once thwarted by the Boston bombings, this marathoner prepares for the Paris Marathon post-Charlie Hebdo

The World
Steven and Mackenzie Loy at the start of the 2013 Boston Marathon. She was stopped a mile short of the finish line after the race was bombed.

Mackenzie Loy first ran the Boston Marathon with her father in 2013 — the year the race was bombed.

Loy was then in her senior year at Tufts University and a member of the Tufts Marathon Team, the largest known collegiate marathon program in the country.

Loy and her father, Steven, never made it to the finish line that day. They, like thousands of other runners, were stopped on the course after the attack. Loy had to stop at mile 25, just over a mile from the finish line.

Mackenzie and Steven Loy after completing the Boston Marathon a year after 2013 bombings stopped their race.

Mackenzie and Steven Loy after completing the Boston Marathon a year after 2013 bombings forced them to stop.


Courtesy of Mackenzie Loy

Loy and her dad returned the next year and finally completed the race. Now she's training again, but she has her sights set on a different race: the Paris Marathon, which takes place on April 12.

Loy fell in love with France when she studied there during her junior year at college. But after she made the decision to run the Paris race, the city was struck by a terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper. 

“I paused when the news first broke about [the attack], but I’ve never reconsidered my decision to run," she says. “You can’t let outside events affect your life and how you want to pursue each day and pursue your goals."

Loy explains that training for the Paris Marathon has reminded her of the simple joy of running. “I run because it’s something that I love,” she says. “It has brought me together with so many people who have become so important in my life."

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