By Jane Erikson
Friday, April 19, 2013, was a beautiful spring day in Boston.
“It’s what we’d been waiting for all winter. The weather was getting warm, everyone wanted to be outside,” recalls Tiffany Blake-Lamb, MD.
It was also four days after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, and she and everyone else in Boston and neighboring Watertown were confined to their homes, in lockdown. The only people outside on this lovely day were the police and FBI agents searching for the one surviving bombing suspect.
“It was a very, very odd feeling, and chilling,” Blake-Lamb recalls. “And it was that day, watching the news coverage, that I said to one of my friends, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to run a marathon.’ That’s when I decided I would run the marathon this year.”
The day of the bombings, Blake-Lamb, Class of 2006, was at work at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she did her residency in ob-gyn and now is on the faculty.
“I was not involved in triaging patients, but it definitely shook us all pretty dramatically,” she says. “We never would have imagined something like that happening in Boston. It’s a friendly city, very cultural and open-minded. And the response to the bombings was very characteristic of Boston. It was the entire city mobilizing to help everyone and get medical care for those who needed it.”
April 15 this year was a somber, rainy day filled with memorial events, she says. The marathon had been intentionally pushed back to April 21.
“It turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny spring day,” says Blake-Lamb. “It was everybody coming together and not letting last year’s events get in the way of this year’s marathon. It was definitely a very, very exciting day.”
Lamb and three friends ran as a team. They surpassed their goal of raising $40,000 for Healthworks Community Fitness, a non-profit that operates five Boston-area gyms for women on low incomes. Monthly memberships are $10 for a woman, and $5 for a child.
A Kingman native who grew up in Bullhead City and got her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the UA, Blake-Lamb was “always active in sports, growing up and at the UA, as an undergrad and at med school. But I had never done any kind of distance running.”
That was no problem. Healthworks Community Fitness provided a trainer for her and her teammates.
“I think I’m a little bit hooked now,” Blake-Lamb says. “I’ve already signed up for a 10K and a half-marathon later this year. And now that I realize it’s possible, I think I’ll run the Boston Marathon again.
“The main thing for me was how the experience of last year motivated me to run this year, and help this charity. As a woman’s health-care provider, it’s incredibly meaningful to me. It’s what matters to me in my personal life as well.”
Photo: Tiffany Blake-Lamb, second from left, with her team