Culture

The Boston Marathon Changed This Woman’s Life Forever

After losing her leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Lauren Gregory was determined to run.

This is a part of our 15 Most Powerful Women in Running series. Who runs the world? Girls—obviously.

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REBEKAH GREGORY
Motivational Speaker
Age: 28
Richmond, TX

On April 15, 2013, Gregory was standing on Boylston Street, waiting to see her mother-in-law cross the Boston Marathon’s iconic finish line. In one moment she was cheering happily with her 5-year-old son by her side. The next, she was on the ground, her ear drums blown and her vision clouded by smoke, screaming, “Where is my baby?”

A victim of the marathon bombings, Gregory held on to her own life and that of her son, but lost her leg during recovery. Over the past two years, she has become a hero for runners everywhere, in part by becoming a runner herself. Following her amputation, Gregory focused on one goal: to run. In an article for ESPN this spring, she explains that, prior to the day that would change her life, “I didn’t understand why people would run, especially for fun. But the marathon is a huge part of my life now, and it will always be.”

In 2015, Gregory returned to Boston to run the final 3.2 miles of the race—the distance symbolized the number of months she had been able to walk with her prosthetic dubbed “Felicia.” In what she calls her “proudest moment,” Gregory ran across the line, thereby taking back the power that terrorists had once tried to steal.

“I feel most powerful when my leg is aching because I am still getting used to life as an amputee and I still run anyway. Everything in our day-to-day is about perspective, and I’m just thankful to be alive, swap out my leg for a fake one, and still run and keep moving forward.”

Discover More Of Our 15 Most Powerful Women In Running:
Mary Wittenberg
Lorna Jane Clarkson
Kara Goucher
Lori Shannon
Michelle Obama
Christy Turlington Burns
Magdalena Boulet
Lauren Fleshman
Harriette Thompson
Sarah Attar