Marathoner's second chance raises money for Watertown heroes

Issue May 2014 By Joshua Crawford

Massachusetts Bar Association member and Boston attorney Dawn Castillo Harper technically just completed her first Boston Marathon, but it wasn't her first time running one. Like many others who started out from Hopkinton the year before, Harper ran nearly the entire race before she was turned away from the course after the bombs went off. She was just seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line.

While Harper was initially upset she didn't get to finish, her thoughts quickly turned to her mother and friend, Michelle, both of whom were just 100 feet from the explosion at the finish line. Luckily they were unharmed physically, but the events of that day will stay with them forever.

Living two blocks from the finish line, Harper witnessed day in and day out the events of the next few weeks, so it was never a question she would run in 2014. But for Harper, simply running the marathon wouldn't be enough. She chose to raise money for the very people who made sure the aftermath of the bombing was not more tragic than the bombing itself: the Watertown Police Department.

Over the past few months, Harper trained for this year's race and attended a variety of charitable and fundraising events. With the marathon now in her rearview mirror, she expects to hit her fundraising goal of $10,000 for the Watertown Police Foundation, Inc.

Harper says this year's marathon was an experience she won't soon forget, and she cannot believe it is over. While she is unsure whether she will make running a marathon a habit, Harper says she is proud to have run one for Boston - especially the people who put their lives on the line.

By her actions, it is clear Harper knows what it means to be Boston Strong.