By MARK MAYNARD / Amy For Africa
BOSTON — Amy Compston still gets emotional even thinking about the Boston Marathon.
On Monday, the woman who is the face of Amy For Africa will be competing in her third consecutive Boston Marathon — and fifth world marathon — on the streets of Boston.
It was two years ago Wednesday that the Boston Marathon was a place of triumph and tragedy. She finished the marathon that year with a personal-best time of 3:27.54, 30 minutes before two bombs detonated near the finish line that shook the world. It also shook Amy and her family’s world. Twenty-two family members stood between the two bombs all day long, leaving two minutes before they exploded when Amy’s brother, Andy Wesolowski, directed the family down an alley. They heard the bombs but were uninjured.
She went back to the scene last year and felt the emotions all over again.
“I kind of feel the same way this year,” she said. “This morning (Wednesday) when I realized it was the two-year anniversary was today I got a little emotional. My family all feels the same way.
“It’s a day we’ll never forgot but also the start of something beautiful.”
It was after Amy came back from Boston, trying to understand everything that had happened in her life that included two drug overdoses, that she felt the call from God to run for missions in Moyo, Uganda. It was essentially the beginning of Amy For Africa.
“It was tragic and horrible for anybody who was there but it was also the start of something amazing,” she said.
Despite the many speaking engagements and fundraising for the 26,000 pair of shoes that will be waiting in Moyo for a 12-member Amy For Africa team, the training for the Boston Marathon has gone well, she said.
“I do feel good,” she said. “Last year in Boston I ran my worst time ever. Ever, ever. I know it makes no difference in eternity what I run on Monday, and I tell the Lord that, but I’d like to run my best time there.”
Her goal is to better the 2013 time of 3:27.54.
“Anything better than that would be tremendous,” she said.
She has followed a grueling 24-week training plan and missed only one day of running.
“I have followed it but had to make adjustments,” she said. “I’ve missed some strength training or workout days. But AFA telling the world about Jesus has to be the priority. If I miss a training day to tell 100 children about God, then praise the Lord! I’ve got 99 percent of it in.”
Running is still a scared time for Amy, who using it as a time to get some personal space.
“The last two years we have been so busy that running is my time alone, my time to think, my time to pray,” she said. “Before I did it for fun, and it’s still fun. Now it’s a necessity in my life to have that time alone.”
She will be going to Boston with husband Chris (who is running the Boston 5K on Saturday) but nobody else.
The couple will celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary in Boston since the actual anniversary date will be when they are in Moyo in May.
“I have two special anniversaries in May, my wedding anniversary and the anniversary of Amy For Africa starting,” she said. “We’ll be in Moyo for both of them.”
The trip to Moyo remains in the forefront of her mind even with the Boston Marathon approaching.
“I’m excited about Boston and I know I will be even more when I’m on the starting line,” she said. “(But) This trip coming to Africa, it comes back in play.”
You can text 17157 to 234567 to get updates while Amy is running in Boston on Monday.