ECU Graduates Who Dodged Tragedy, Reflect On Boston Marathon Bombings

An ECU graduate living in Boston is preparing to run in Monday’s marathon, over a year after his 8-month pregnant wife awaited him at the finish line of 2013’s race.

It was just over a year ago WITN shared with you the story of Jonathan and Paulina Hill, two ECU graduates living in Boston.

Paulina was 8-months pregnant and waiting at the finish line of the 2013 Boston marathon for Jonathan to finish. Paulina says that a friend had an extra ticket for the grandstands, which took her across the street from where she would have been standing when the bombs exploded.

“When the first bomb goes off, it makes you wonder, “What was that?” And then when the 2nd went off down the street, that's when you knew something was really wrong and that's when you start to run. You kind of don't think and get out of there," said Paulina Hill about seeing the explosions.

Jonathan was on mile 25, when the race was suddenly halted.

“I'll never forget there was a woman next to me that said “I'm going to finish this race, you can't stop me. I've trained for 8 months.” And, finally, the officer said, “No ma'am, there've been multiple explosions at the finish line,” and at that point it became mass hysteria,” said Jonthan Hill.
Fearing the worst, 45 minutes would go by, before Jonathan would reconnect with his wife.

A year later, and a son, Jonah, now an official part of the family, the Hill’s reflect on their blessings, as Jonthan prepares to run this year’s marathon Monday morning.

“It was just amazing a month later to see him born, and be healthy,” said Paulina, “It just really makes you appreciate life to the fullest, knowing something so terrible can happen on a wonderful day, and then a month later seeing something so wonderful before your eyes, becoming a parent. It just makes you count your blessings.”

“Being a parent, you care so deeply about your child, and knowing he was in harm’s way last year but made it out okay was very…we were very lucky, very blessed,” said Jonathan.