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Pittsburgh Marathon provides closure for some who didn't finish Boston race

| Sunday, May 5, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Mary Akor, crosses the finish line at the Boulevard of the Allies to win the Women's 2013 Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, Sunday.

Thirty feet from the finish line Sunday, the enormity of what Kimblery Grauer was about to do washed over her. She stopped running and started to cry.

Not because she was thinking about the awful events in Boston three weeks earlier but because she was about to complete the marathon she started running April 15 in honor of her father, who died April 3.

“I wasn't expecting that much emotion,” said Grauer, who was part of a group of charity runners who did not get to finish the Boston Marathon. “I've done marathons, and I know what the finish is like, but I was trying to make a video for my mom and just saying, ‘Dad, we did it, we did it.'

“I feel like I finished Boston. There's emotional closure now.”

Dick's Sporting Goods paid for the group of 37 to fly to Pittsburgh plus their hotel and entry fees. The runners also had a dinner at The Clemente Museum on Saturday and received a generous goodie bag as part of their race weekend experience.

Stephanie Greenstein never had crossed the finish line of a marathon before Sunday. She said it was nice to see all the nods to Boston from other runners and spectators.

“There was a lot of ‘Boston Strong' stuff, and people had shirts, but there we also saw signs and things that people had written in chalk on the pavement,” she said. “It was nice that everywhere you looked you felt like there was support. It was really sweet.”

Grauer said she's leaving Pittsburgh in a much different frame of mind and called this weekend “a gift.”

She also said she'll be back.

“The city is gorgeous, but the course is very, very hilly, and I'd like to improve my time,” she said. “I have to show that course who's boss.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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