Strong: Boston Marathon Commemorative Tees and Sweaty Bands


"Soon after the elites finish come the runners who have flattened themselves to get a BQ—a Boston qualifier. These are the people who use Boston as their final or even annual test to satisfy their need to be their own heroes."Kathrine Switzer, the first female runner in the Boston Marathon, in the introduction of 4:09:43 by Hal Higon, a book that commemorates the 2013 Boston Marathon

Where were you last April 15, 2013 at 2:49 EST? Bet you have a very vivid memory of where you were when you heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon, explosions that killed 3, injured over 250, and shook the running world to its very core. (Dimity: Coming out of Pilates class. Sarah: Visiting with her parents in Connecticut before she caught a flight home.)

Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and images of where we were, how rocked our worlds felt, how we couldn't wrap our minds around this terrible thing happening to our lovely, generous running community are already starting to pop up in our minds.

"The same legs I have despised all this time literally got blown to pieces last year. And while I am without a doubt scarred for life, I have also never felt more beautiful than I do right now."Rebekah Gregory, injured in the bombings and preparing for her wedding to a fellow bombing survivor

Given how profoundly those tragic events affected the minds and souls of the mother runner community, we wanted to commemorate the fortitude and spirit of all of us touched by it—as well as simply proclaim the current state of our hearts: STRONG.

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." —Ernest Hemingway

We modified our Boston Marathon tee from last year—the ones that, thanks to you guys, raised a whopping $26,000 for the One Fund—taking the heart and putting the simple, but ridiculously powerful word, "STRONG" inside it. Whether you finished the marathon on April 15, 2013; were pulled from the course; or simply held your fellow runners in your heart through your miles after the bombings, STRONG says it all.

"It's interesting how we often can't see the ways in which we are being strong. Like, you can't be aware of what you're doing that's tough and brave at the time that you're doing it because if you knew that it was brave, then you'd be scared." —Lena Dunham

Wear this new tee to remember, but also to celebrate your strength and the strength of runners everywhere. The literal cardiovascular strength as well as the willpower, dedication, and love for running. The blue heart, with a pair of yellow women's shoes below it, sits on a heathered, light grey tee. This Bella brand, women's cut tee is a soft cotton/poly blend and sports a universally flattering neckline; it's a little more sccop-necked than the one in the pic. If you own or have seen one of our other lifestyle tees, it's the same style.

"Women have always been the strong ones of the world." —Coco Chanel

Every runner is strong in mind and body.
Whethers she's running 26.2 in Boston or her first continuous mile, every.single.freakin' runner has untapped srength.

"A strong mind always hopes, and has always cause to hope." —Thomas Carlyle

We carry the strong-heart message upward to a new Sweaty Bands, in the iconic Boston Marathon colors: a vivid yellow band with blue hearts and "strong" in white letters. You can buy the T-shirt ($25) or the Sweaty Bands ($15) separately or order them together to save $5. We are donating 15% of the price of all these Boston Strong items to The One Fund Boston.

"I believe in being strong when everything else seems to go wrong." —Audrey Hepburn

We are currently taking pre-orders on the tee and Sweaty Bands: Orders must be placed by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 17 in order to receive your tee to wear in time for the Boston Marathon, which is on Monday, April 21, 2014. Orders will be shipped the first week of April.

And we want to know: Where were you when you heard about the bombings? 

27 responses to “Strong: Boston Marathon Commemorative Tees and Sweaty Bands

  1. I was at work sneaking a quick peek at Twitter to see who had won the race when I saw a tweet about 2 suspicious loud booms that had just occurred.

  2. I was at home in CT and had just finished planting flowers with my then 2 year old daughter. I turned on the tv and could not believe it. I was not a runner at that point but this got my husband to to start running and I soon followed.

  3. I had finished running the marathon about 15 minutes before the bombs went off…my dad and best friend found me probably about 5 minutes before the first bomb went off and I was on Boylston just past the buses after getting my stuff and they helped me to walk to the first corner there where cars were allowed to drive at the time…my dad’s beset friend met us there with one of our rental cars and we all got in the car bc we had to take him to the airport…we were leaving with just enough time get him there and quite frankly we thought we weren’t going to get him there on time…as we got settled into the car is when the first bomb went off…very blessed that we got in the car when we did and that my dad’s best friend had that flight. I honestly (at the time) was so bummed that he got his flight at that time bc I was planning on hanging around that area for a bit…everything happens for a reason.

  4. I was in my running store buying new shoes. The guy who I always see in there had the live coverage streaming on his computer. I walked out of the store feeling a little dazed at what I was hearing & seeing. Even though I was half-way across the country in Iowa it really struck a chord. These were people like me-who had spent time & effort training to reach a goal. Then, I got ticked off that these heartless people had tried to ruin something as simple as going for a run.
    I love the t-shirt that you all sold last year & wear it proudly!

  5. I had finished running the Boston Marathon about 1 1/2 hours before the bombing. I was in the family meeting area a few blocks from the finish line waiting to meet my friend who had just finished also. I heard the explosions but no one knew what it was. Luckily my friends and I found each other pretty quickly and tried to make our way out of the area. We ended up walking about 3 miles to her hotel, since all the train stations were shut down. Friends & family were frantically trying to contact me but my phone wouldn’t work. Not until we got to the hotel and turned on the TV did we realize that this was a bombing, at the finish line, so close to where we were. I will never forget that day. I am running again this year – nervous and excited that my husband and 3 kids are coming to cheer me on for the first time in my 8 years of running Boston.

  6. I was working and was following a friend running… I didn’t get much done after that waiting to hear if she was ok. She was stopped about a 1/2 mile short of finishing. She’ll be running again this year.

  7. I work in Boston and I happened to be at the finish line a few hours prior watching that elite women come in. I was driving home when I hear on the radio that there was a bombing. All of my family and friends were emailing and texting me asking if I was OK. So this year I am running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital. MGH not only saved many lives affected by the bombings but they also saved my husband’s life many years ago. I cannot think of a better reason for raising $5K than running 26.2 for them.

  8. I was home and the news came on. I was in shock. My dad grew up in Boston. Patriots Day is still a holiday for our family, even thou we do not live in New England. My Dad let me stay home from school and he always took the day off. My dream is to run the Boston marathon. I ordered my t- shirt. I will wear it proudly while I’m training for my first half marathon.

  9. I was at work and checked the news in between appointments. As soon as I could, I checked the RLAM facebook page for news about all of the Mother Runners who were there. I cried all the way home from work that afternoon – and most of that night and the next day. I’m wearing the “Run” shirt today — and every time I wear it, I think of this tribe and the other runners who joined together to support those affected by the bombing.

  10. I was at work, teaching. I got a “breaking news” text from our local station about explosives going off at the finish line of Boston. I was a still very much a newbie runner, only having been running for about 5 months and training for my first half in May. I was so upset, and tried to explain to my students what was going on.

  11. I was at home. I’d been tracking runners off and on all day, and was outside in the yard with neighbors when I got a phone call from a friend who had heard from a friend who was there. I’d been emotional all day because I couldn’t be there, because I hadn’t requalified, instead of chosen to not be there.

  12. I was still on Boylston Street looking for the gear buses. I had just finished 12 minutes before the bombings. As soon as I heard it and felt it, I turned around and saw the flume of smoke and knew things weren’t good…then the second one went off. At this point, I went on a frantic search for my husband who was supposed to be at the finish line with other family members of Team Hoyt. Thankfully he had been stuck on a train and we found one another within 12 minutes at the family relocation area. 12 minutes seemed so short in the first instance and a lifetime in the second. Thankfully we were reunited and made it back to the hotel to find all of the other Team Hoyt members were safe as well. The Lord blessed me with beauty from the ashes that day. I ended up qualifying for 2014 and will run across the Boston finish line once again as a Team Hoyt qualified runner. God was good and had a hedge of protection on us. I will run Boston Strong and Team Hoyt Strong on April 21, 2014.

  13. I was at mile 24 with my BRB. We were almost there and we were feeling great, ready for a strong finish. I was listening to my run mix through one ear on my iPhone and the text messages started coming in: “Where r u?” “R u OK?” “Where is Dylan.” “Please let me know you are OK” etc., etc. I immediately verified the safety of my son who was waiting at the finish and my BRB’s family an then we tried to keep going, picked up the pace so we could finish, bobbing and weaving through the crowds of runners who had already stopped but finally the race officials stepped in front of us and told us we had to stop. It was the most amazing day until it wasn’t anymore, but even in the moments after some amazing things happened: the man that gave us his sweatshirt, which we wore together until we got to the couple standing outside their brownstone handing out clothes to all the cold and bewildered runners, race officials who directed us down the detoured route to the buses to collect our belongings and find our families. Boston Strong.

  14. I was at work. Soon as it happened the calls and texts started rolling in. A couple of people were worried I might be running the race, which is extremely flattering because I am a 5:57 marathoner at best. Some local friends-of-friends WERE running and much conversation was had till they were found safe. One had been five minutes away from the finish at the time of the blast. The whole thing left me sobbing at my desk.

  15. I was at a friend’s house having a playdate with our kids. Her husband is a Boston cop who was working the race. He called her and said something happened, he couldn’t talk and was going to have to turn off his phone, but wanted her to know he was safe and then he just hung up on her. She looked terrified, and ran into the house to turn on the tv to see if there was anything on the news. I kept the kids outside while she found out and then filled me in. I had a friend who is firefighter at the Boylston St house also working that day, made a call and found out he had basically made the same type of call to his wife. Felt like I couldn’t breath for hours while they were looking for other bombs, knowing the two of them were both right in the middle of it.

  16. I had just left lunch with a friend whose husband was working at the finish line (he’s in media production). She had no idea that the Boston Marathon was that day until I reminded her b/c he had been traveling often that week. I’m glad I reminded her b/c the first call she got from her husband (who was not injured) would have been a lot scarier.

  17. I had gone out for a bit of shopping but was patiently waiting to hear how our tribe member Michelle San Antonio did in her very first Boston Marathon. I was shocked when I walked in the door and saw what was happening on TV. I was relieved when i found out my friends were ok, and then I just broke down.

    I just ordered the tee and band and will wear it proudly on April 21 and beyond!

  18. I was at mile 26 (right by the actual marker sign on the road and the police officer in one of the famous pictures) so I saw the 2nd explosion pretty vividly. It didn’t hit me until much later (September when I dropped my daughter off at school) just how close I actually was to it. My friend that I was running with crossed the line just as the 2nd bomb went off, and I would have been with her had I not stopped to give my daughter a hug at the entrance to Kenmore Sq and wave to my inlaws at the corner of Hereford & Comm Ave. This year will be a very special race for me as I have yet to cross the line from last year.

  19. I was on a plane to Tokyo when it happened. When I landed and turned on my phone I had a bunch of text messages that didn’t make any sense: I’m so glad you weren’t there; I’m so glad you are ok; Aren’t you glad you didn’t qualify; Mom, did you hear what happened? It took a while to get information. I only knew that something really bad must have happened. When I found out, I was devastated, sad and then angry that my friends and family were happy that I didn’t qualify for Boston as I had been trying the year before. Angry that something that should be so great could become something to fear.

  20. I was sitting at home, watching marathon coverage. My computer had recently frozen and I was having issues getting back to the site. My first thought went to friends I knew who were running and what their anticipated finish times were. Then, I went back to 2010, when I was at the 26 mile marker. Freaked me out as I searched photos and could place my photos right near the bombs, just years earlier.

  21. I was at my mom’s in NH playing outside with the whole family. I got a news alert on my photo and saw the photo of Boylston St. I then immediately tried to contact a friend working the Finish Line Med Tent and other friends volunteering along the course. I spent much of the afternoon fielding calls since a few friends got confused and thought I was running the marathon and not the 5K the day before.

  22. I was right around the corner at the family meeting area. I finished the Boston marathon about 50 minutes before the bombs went off. I was on such a high. I had just run the race of my life. I never hit a wall, every step I took, hand I slapped, popsicle I ate from a kid, and smile I saw….was so absolutely memorable. When the bombs went off our first thought was “who is shooting off fireworks or cannons?”. It was just surreal. I have not let what happened ruined my first experience there. I cherish every minute of time spent there that weekend and on the course. I hold it near and dear to my heart. I qualified there last year, for this year. I registered and planned to go, but unfortunately I am coming off a serious pelvic stress fracture and just getting back to running.

  23. I was at work and it was the second devastating news of the day. Earlier in the day, I had learned that one of my co-workers daughters had been in a 4-wheeler accident over the weekend and was on life support. She had massive head injuries and they were going to be losing her, but giving the gift of life through organ donation. 11years earlier, almost the exact same thing happened to my cousin Nick. Every year since his death, his family has held a 5K in his honor to benefit Gift of Hope. He was a cross country runner. Nick’s race was the reason I started running . Through running, Nick’s sister and I have become very close. We trained for our first half and full Marathons together and are running Big Sur together this year. So, it really felt like a double whammy to me. Then the news that an 8 yo boy had been killed (my twins were 8 at the time). It was just too much.

  24. I had had a significant visit with my oncologist in the morning, and to celebrate went out for a nine mile run. I didn’t hear the news until after I got back, which was just before my daughter got home from school.

  25. I was working at one of the many hospitals down the street that got many survivors. I work in the recovery room and the sights from that day will forever be etched in my memory. I still get tears in my eyes thinking or reading about that day. Although, it has inspired me to train for & run Boston this year. Every mile I run helps me process & heal from the horrible events of that day. Boston Strong!!

  26. I had just defeated Heartbreak Hill and was at Mile 22 with my BRF and we were told by the police to get in a cab if we could because the whole city was going to be shut down. We jumped in a cab and got back to her car.

  27. I was in the car line to pick up my kids, then ages 9 and 6, from school and heard it on a cable news network that is simulcasted on satellite radio. I was torn-I wanted to keep listening and then watch the coverage when we got home, but also didn’t want to scare the kids and create worry in them about me running races in the future.

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