BOSTON (CBS) – Patrick Downes has run marathons before, he’s hand-cycled the Boston Marathon before, but next Monday, for the first time since he lost his leg at the finish line three years ago, he’ll run the 26.2 miles with the love of his life in his heart and a generous goal in mind.
“I think I’m going to cry a lot, I’m going to laugh a lot. I’m going to get the goosebumps. I’m just looking forward to that whole emotional ride,” Downes said.
“I know I’m going to run with the memory of Martin and Sean and Krystal and Lingzi and their families.”
When newlyweds Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky each lost a leg at the Boston Marathon in 2013 they began an odyssey together for better or worse in sickness and in health. This year he runs alone but with their gratitude for the love and support they’ve received.
“Through all the training particularly when I was having a rough patch, I would think about the tunnel of energy and cheering and that just pushed me along,” Downes said.
Patrick will run with friends like BJ Gainam, a wounded warrior who was at his side in last year’s hand-cycle race.
“As we’ve come to say patriots should ride and run on Patriots Day,” Downes said.
He’ll share the run alongside faithful friends and family.
“Running with my brother and sister in law and my dear friends Tom and BJ I can’t think of a better team of people to with who have all been incredibly meaningful to us over the last three years.”
This year he runs with a new purpose: to endow a scholarship at his alma mater Boston College for a student with a physical disability.
“Jess and I realized we’ve been celebrated as people with disabilities and that’s not always the case. We want to help to ensure that other people with disabilities are also celebrated for the obstacles that they’ve overcome and the ways that they challenge people to think about the abilities of the human body and the human spirit.”
He’s counting on the spirit of Boston and his Boylston Street family to get him to the finish line.
“I’ll probably realize I can do the marathon when I’m at like Mile 26,” he says.
“I think that’s such a sign of the spirit of the people here, and the way that they’ve taken care of us…and the friendships we’ve created .It’ll forever be a part of who we are.”
Patrick and his team need to raise $250,000 in order to fully endow the BC Strong scholarship at Boston College.
If you’d like to contribute to the scholarship fund go to www.bc.edu/bcstrong