New York race a tonic for Boston heroes

Many runners had Boston on their minds -- and clothes -- on Sunday. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NEW YORK -- David King said the city was perfect on Sunday.

"This race, for me, was just a rebirth," King said, "crawling out from under the cloud that Boston temporarily created. I don’t know. It’s another sunrise for me."

He never thought for a minute that he would miss it. Not after what he saw, and endured, in Boston. Dr. David King knew first-hand the tragic bombings that devastated the Boston Marathon last year. He was one of the brave men that raced and finished and then raced again. This time, it was over to Massachusetts General Hospital, where King, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, is a trauma surgeon.

He conducted about 30 hours of surgeries with his legs still aching from his 26.2 miles. He ran holding the memories of patients he treated that day and in the days to come. He called his first one, Roseanne Sdoia, who lost her right leg. He remembered assigning a medical student to bring him "anything liquid to drink."

“People run for a million different reasons,” said King, who also said he’s run around 50 marathons. “I usually don’t run for anything in particular. I run for the joy of it. But today I’m definitely running for Boston.”

So was Dr. Xaviour Walker, the chief resident physician on call that awful day in Boston last April. He recalled stories of doctors running around the bombsite to help and injured victims walking into Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.

"I think what happened in Boston, everyone wanted to run," he said. "Everybody wanted to do something. Everyone wanted to just put their shoes back on and say, 'Let's run New York. Let’s run Boston.' I think it’s motivated people. It’s that whole Boston Strong attitude."

Walker, much like King, never considered passing on the chance to race the NYC Marathon this year after Hurricane Sandy canceled last year’s race. Both raced with blue ribbons pinned to their singlets, given by the New York Road Runners, to honor those victims in Boston.

Walker, 32, running with Greater Boston Track Club, finished his third NYC Marathon and said he planned to race in Boston next year. But he could feel the difference in the atmosphere this year, even with the increased police presence and helicopters swirling above the finish line.

"The support is really amazing. You see the families and the kids out here and that’s what this sport is really about."