Politicians are used to running and raising money, but today three House Democrats ran in the Boston Marathon to raise money for charities that help victims of last year's finish line bombing.
Reps. Joe Kennedy III and Stephen Lynch, both from Massachusetts, joined Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in the 118th Boston Marathon.
Kennedy finished well ahead of his Democratic rivals, clocking in at 4:02:42 according to a race tracker. The Massachusetts Democrat began the race with an 8:07 mile pace, gradually slowing to a 10:57 pace at 40K before finishing on a 10:19 mile pace.
Sinema finished in 4:48:25, ahead of Lynch, who finished in 4:55:12.
In a phone call after the race, Sinema described running through the final stretch past the sites at the end of the race where the bombs went off last year.
"When we passed the area where the bombing was, it wasn't sad or desolate place. It was an incredibly cheerful and joyous place, which is what a marathon should be," she said. "Boston really took it back from those bombers. I mean, boy they took it back with a vengeance."
Sinema, 37, ran in honor of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed by the first blast in last year's twin bombing. She says she has raised $20,000 for Team MR8, a charity established in memory of Martin by his parents.
"It was an incredible honor to run the Boston Marathon for Martin Richard's foundation and for One Fund Boston," Sinema said. "The honor will stay with me for my whole life. It's just incredible. I'm so grateful to be a part of today."
Of the 36,000 racing bibs available for the historic occasion, 5,500 slots were reserved for charity runners like Sinema, a self-described "endurance runner" who would not qualify based on speed.
"I probably would never had run the Boston Marathon if it hadn't been for the bombing last year and the people whose lives were lost and those who were injured, and it was that act - that bomb - that brought me here this year," Sinema said. "It sends a real message of strength and perseverance, just to let the world know that Boston is strong. I actually carried that thought through myself the whole day."
For Kennedy, 33, it was his first marathon. He ran with his wife, Lauren, who raised money for Boston Medical Center, where she used to work. Kennedy, the great-nephew of President John F. Kennedy, ran for the One Fund, a foundation established by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to support the victims and survivors.
Kennedy posted several pictures leading up to the race, including a selfie with his wife Lauren on a bus on their way to the starting line, one of the congressman in action as he approached the finish line, and a third photo of the duo after the race.
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) April 21, 2014
Prior to the start, Lynch, 59, tweeted a photo with Sinema and his press secretary Meghan Aldridge, who also ran.
— Rep. Stephen Lynch (@RepStephenLynch) April 21, 2014
It appears as though Lynch may have walked or stopped to rest towards the end of the race, slowing his mile pace to 16 minutes, 28 seconds after 40K, far from the breakout speed he began with at 8:31 per mile. Sinema also slowed down at the 40K point of the race, moving along at a 12:49 pace, far from the 9:45 pace she established at the outset.