Back to the starting line

Brian De Sena, ’11, is returning to run another Boston Marathon in memory of his friend, last year's victims, and an entire city

By Rita Buettner  |  Photos courtesy of Brian De Sena

The bombs had just exploded at the finish line. But Brian De Sena, ’11, didn’t need to know exactly what had happened to know where he’d be the day of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on, and my dad just looked at me and said, ‘Are you ever going to do this again?’” De Sena said. “And I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? We’re coming back next year.’”

And he is back.

When the Boston Marathon begins, De Sena will be among the runners. Last year he wasn’t running just for himself. He was running in memory of his friend and classmate, Evan Girardi, ’11.

This year he’s running for Girardi again.

He’s also running for the four people who lost their lives in last year’s tragedy.

And he’s running for Brittany Loring, who was injured in the bombing. De Sena’s brother helped her get medical help at the finish line.

And he’s running for Boston.

He even had a pinny designed with Loring’s name, the initials of the four people who lost their lives, Evan’s name, and the city he loves.

“It’s going to be emotional,” said De Sena, who lives in Manhattan. “You’re running it for Evan, but you’re also running it for the city.”

So De Sena will set out in his fourth marathon, running with his brother with the bibs that Brittany received from the Boston Athletic Association, given to runners who were injured last year.

As he runs, De Sena will be remembering his friend Girardi and Girardi’s family will be therewith De Sena’s familycheering him on.

“I’ve developed a really good relationship with his dad and his mom,” De Sena said. “They’re really amazing people. They’re just the nicest, greatest people.”

De Sena started running seriously to raise funds for Live For Evan, the scholarship fund Girardi’s family has established for students from his hometown, Hopkinton, Mass.

“I run with this Nike watch that has GPS and keeps track of how far you go,” he said during an interview in early April. “Today I logged my 1000th mile with it. I told Evan’s parents, I logged my 1000th mile and all this started with running for Evan. This is one of the ways that we’re continuing to write his story.”

Learn more about Live for Evan.

Brian De Sena, '11, during the 2013 Boston Marathon

You might also like to read:

Running for Evan: Friends of Evan Girardi, ‘11, are running the Boston Marathon in his memory

Five Minutes Ahead of Tragedy: Alumni safe after running Boston Marathon in their classmate’s memory

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