Erinn Fleming is a manager at the Forum Restaurant and Bar on Boylston Street in Boston, and was working during the 2013 Boston Marathon when two bombs turned a busy work day into a scene of mass confusion.
Fleming wasn’t exactly sure what had happened, but she knew there were people in need and did all she could to help.
“I really didn’t have time to think,” she told FOXSports.com. “I just knew we had a restaurant full of guests. As someone who works here, it was kind of up to me, I felt like, to help them get out and get them to safety.”
Four months later, the Forum reopened, but just because the restaurant had been repaired didn’t mean Fleming was going to completely move on from the event.
One day toward the end of the summer, Fleming, who had been a casual exerciser, said something that probably even surprised herself. She said she was going to run the 2014 Boston Marathon.
“I think that, maybe subconsciously, was a way of saying, ‘I’m not going to be afraid, I’m not going to feel like I don’t have control, I’m not going to let someone or something try to take away this amazing event,’ ” Fleming said. “I think that proclamation, for me, a lot was really behind it that at the time I wasn’t thinking about. But somewhere in my mind, it was there.”
Of course, the training hasn’t been easy, especially for someone who wasn’t a regular runner before they began training. But Fleming pressed on, motivated by her first time running 14.5 miles and reaching the top of Heartbreak Hill.
She won’t just be running for herself, however. Fleming joined the Andruzzi Foundation’s cause after being impressed by the group’s work last year.
Fleming says she doesn’t have a goal in mind for a finish time. Instead, her mission is to prove that it’s possible to move on.
“I’m not thinking about time,” she said. “I’m just thinking about finishing.”