David (Mick) and Kristen Mickelson are a truly inspiring fitness couple who were able to run the Boston Marathon together. After attending the Boston Marathon to watch his wife, Mick caught the Boston Marathon bug and wanted to run it even though he had never been a big runner. He then trained hard and completed two very difficult Ironmans. On their way to the marathon, that Mick was finally going to try to qualify for the Boston, they received a call from home saying their niece was in the hospital and may not have long to live. They hurried home from the Marathon to spend their last few days with their dear niece. Mick did not have the chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Kristen entered Mick into the iFit Giveaway to win an entry to the Boston Marathon, and when his name was selected as the winner Kristen and Mick were so excited, as they would finally be able to accomplish their lifelong dream and complete a Boston Marathon together.

Here is the Boston Marathon 2013 through the Mickelson’s Eyes:

“As we all know, this experience running the Boston Marathon will be forever emblazoned in our memories for all that happened that day, it was the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

The day of the marathon could not have been more ideal-perfect weather, blue skies and beautiful conditions. All our friends/neighbors we knew running the marathon were able to gather in the Runners Village before the race started and we had such a fabulous time all together. Then when our wave was starting to line up we were worried that we would get separated in the corals but once again luck was on our side when our timing proved to be one of the days little miracles.

Seven of us formed a human chain and wove our way through the tight crowd to get to the start line where our wave had already began. We were fortunate to catch the very tail end of it and were all together, and because the next wave wasn’t starting for another 15 minutes we literally had the course all to ourselves, unheard of in the masses of runners in the Boston marathon. It was magical and one of the highlights of the whole experience. It was also a miracle because none of us were separated at the beginning which happens to the majority of runners, and at the end of the race and the events that transpired it was such a blessing that we were still together.

Mick and I were able to have the once in a lifetime experience of running the entire marathon together and sharing in each of the unique qualities along the way that make Boston such an amazing experience. The Boston spectators alone make it all so memorable; calling our names, cheering us on, giving us high 5′s, bands playing music, communities all coming out to support everyone, running past Wellesley Girls College hearing their deafening screams, many of the men opting for the free kisses offered, spectators handing out oranges, licorice, and food all along the way…it was unbelievable. Mick and I were feeling good and taking it all in, something we will never forget.

Mick never informed me what his goal was because he wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out with his 2 1/2 week training program, but he rocked it! Thanks to his Ironman experiences and remembering the levels of pain he was able to endure, his iron will shone through and he kept a strong pace the entire time. We were both definitely feeling the pain at the end of the race though, as is expected, and so when we finally neared the end of the race where the spectators are cheering you on at a deafening level for the last few miles. Then we came around the last corner where the Finish Line comes into view and our bodies were feeling the energy and we were able to forget the pain as we got closer to the Finish Line. I can’t describe the feelings of running the last 0.2 miles down Boylston Street amidst the crowds and finally crossing the Finish Line. It was magical, inspiring, energizing and something we will never forget. We can’t thank iFit enough for allowing us to have this once in a lifetime experience together. Mick has said many times, “It was the most incredible race he has ever done.”

Right after we crossed the finish line our bodies, knowing it was over, felt all the pain and soreness that had built up and we felt like we could barely take another step. Mick was feeling very cold and woozy and it worried me a bit so I kept telling him to sit down. He wouldn’t so we kept moving, another of the little miracles. We were moving incredibly slowly as they handed us water, space blankets, medals, took pictures, and then made it to the buses to collect our bags with all our belongings.

Just as we had retrieved our bags we finally decided to sit down, just a couple of blocks down the road on Boylston Street past the Finish Line. Then, as we estimate about 10-15 minutes after we had crossed the Finish Line and were sitting on the side of the road, we heard the first very loud explosion. We looked toward the Finish line and could see the smoke rising on the other side. Everyone around us froze not knowing what it was, and then in just a matter of a few more seconds (12 to be exact) we heard the second boom with the smoke starting to rise and then it began to register that something terrible was happening, not planned, and we didn’t know if there was more coming.

Our first assumption was that they could be bombs but no one knew anything, and didn’t for quite some time. Everything around us was still for a few moments as people were processing what had just happened, and then everyone started moving calmly and slowly, some towards the Finish Line, and others away from it. Mick immediately took my hand and we began calling my parents who were with our oldest son, who had been watching in the same area as the bombs. We had just retrieved our cell phones and were able to get in contact quickly with our families and friends which saved us so much worry and fear. We were able to get a hold of my parents who were watching for us in the marathon across the street from where the 2nd bomb occurred. Fortunately they saw us as we passed and had left and started walking down Boylston street towards the Finish Line.

As we spent the next 45 minutes or more walking through the crowded streets paralleling the marathon route, the overriding memory I have of the feelings of how calm everyone was. It was very somber and melancholy, but people were remarkably calm. There wasn’t the immense sense of panic that we see on tv, because we were not witnessing what was going on so close by. We still didn’t know what had happened even passing by many police and security personnel. We began to hear many sirens and saw countless ambulances gathering and lining the streets as far as the eye could see. The emotions started to set in knowing that many people had been hurt and probably killed, and that brought many tears. But even with all the emotions setting in, Mick and I both were able to recognize that we felt peace, we were calm, and we felt safe. I will never forget that feeling in the midst of such turmoil and vulnerability.

Then as our family (our son, my parents, my brother and sister in law and her parents) all gathered in our hotel room and began to see the images and learn of what was going on all around us the fullness and reality of what was happening all around us was unbelievable. It was all incredibly surreal and days later I think we are still trying to process it all layer by layer.

We are all still reeling from this, devastated and heartbroken for all those so badly injured and killed, in awe of the city of Boston and how heroically they have handled all of this as well as an overriding feeling of gratitude for all the little miracles we have seen, felt, and experienced through all of this and the protection we received. It truly was a day we will never ever forget.”

By: Kristen Mickelson