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The emotional win for a San Diegan at the Boston Marathon.

When
11.06AM
4.21.14

Where
Boston Marathon

“After photographing last year’s bombings, I was unsure of what to expect. I was emotional, to say the least, having so many images in my head of one of the darkest days in Boston,” says veteran Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who was crouched in his habitual finish line position when San Diegan Meb Keflezighi came down the home stretch of Boylston Street. Just moments before, Tlumacki had been ruminating on the survivors, seated in a special section with commanding views of the finishing line. “I saw Jeffrey Bauman, who lost both legs, applauding as wheelchair participants crossed the finish line. I could not help but wonder what he was thinking as he kept looking toward that area where he almost lost his life,” says the photographer. “But then, here comes Meb, and the announcer points out that he is the first American runner since 1983 with a chance of winning. Soon, all the terrible moments from last year’s marathon are forgotten—not forever, but for a brief time, just to savor that feeling of triumph and cheer for the USA. As he broke the tape, I shot the photo and felt his spirit cross the finish line. Meb’s victory was about justice. It was about taking back the street, the sidewalk, the marathon, and bringing back the spirit to a great event.”