PM360 recently spoke to Darla Posey, Associate Director, Oncology Marketing, Melanoma, Novartis, about running marathons and watching communities come together.

PM360: Why did you get into running marathons and triathlons?

Darla Posey: I always loved being active, but I mostly just ran for fitness until a co-worker encouraged me to take my racing to a higher level. I ran my first half marathon in 2008—after that I was hooked. I raised money for a charity and ran the New York City Marathon in 2009. It was the 40th anniversary of the race and also the year of my 40th birthday. After running many half marathons and 15 marathons, I started trying triathlons. I completed my first sprint triathlon in 2012. Years later, I placed third in my age group at the TOUGHMAN Half triathlon.

Darla Posey crossing the finish line at the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Which marathons or triathlons are your favorites?

It’s hard to say because they all have their own personalities. But NYC is so big and since it was my first marathon, it has a huge place in my heart. I had just moved there from the South when 9-11 happened. It was such a scary time for our country, and I saw the city come together. After that, I knew someday I wanted to run that marathon. Boston is the one I am most proud to run. You have to qualify to be there and it was my goal to quality after my first marathon. I ran the marathon in 2013 when the bombing happened, and going back the next year gave me such pride.

Darla with her medal for finishing the 2015 Boston Marathon, and with her friend Janice Arnold, an oncology marketer at Daiichi Sankyo.

What was the experience like running in the year of the bombing?

It was a beautiful day! I had finished the race in 3:42:48, which is my best Boston Marathon time. I was walking to the family center with my friend, Lauren, when we heard the first bomb explode. She dug her fingers into my arm and asked me what that was…I wasn’t sure. Moments later we heard the second bomb—the ground felt like it shook. All of a sudden it was completely quiet. We were five blocks down the street from the finish line, but we couldn’t see what was happening. We walked past a hotel where we saw a television showing what was happening. That was when we knew about the bomb.

How did you react after finding out what was happening?

I worried it was an entire U.S. attack like 9-11. We left the city, but looking back, I wish I could have stayed and helped. It was a devastating experience as a runner. The people most injured were loved ones and family members who wait for hours just to see someone racing for five seconds. I cried that entire week and went to a running support group the following weekend. I feel like the running community is so strong now because we look out for one another and our eyes are wide open to suspicious surroundings. Races are changed for forever because of that day—for good and bad.

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