WAXHAW, N.C. -- Tuesday will mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. It was a moment in time that most of us will never forget.
For one Waxhaw mother who ran in that marathon it was a moment in a series of moments that changed her forever. Shirley Wang has tied a lot of laces. She has run a lot of miles. She has covered a lot of ground. Every day for the last year, Shirley thinks about running that perfect race.
About 30 miles a week, she tells NBC Charlotte anchor Ann Sheridan. Yeah a lot of running, she explained.
She s trying to get faster, but also trying to sort it all out in her head.
I heard the bombs exploding and I turned to my left shoulder and I saw the white smoke.
Runners will tell you they concentrate on their times, but Shirley is focused on another number -- the one she can't forget.
To the time I crossed the finish line to the time the bombs went off was 44 seconds, she said.
Forty-four seconds put Shirley ahead of the bombs. Those seconds put her ahead of the destruction. Now as the one year anniversary of Boston is finally here Shirley has made a decision. She won't be going back. When asked if she was sad to not go back, she replied,
Yeah, a little sad because I feel like the terrorist defeated me just a little bit.
Maybe a little defeated, but mostly redirected.
(The anniversary) means hope for my children I guess.
Now Shirley coaches and runs with her kids Leah and George. She s no longer focused on marathons. She gave up the rigorous training after Boston and dialed it back...
I felt like it was a sign from God, she said. Now I feel like I need to turn my attention and help them reach their pinnacles.
The attacked has changed her. It did, she said.
Shirley and her family are running in races all over the state now. They have turned that terrible day into a family triumph discovering what they love to do together.