“Marathon Monday is pretty amazing to witness,” Liza Cherney tweeted on Patriot’s Day 2012 as she witnessed her first Boston Marathon.
Cherney, a native of Novato, Calif., returned to Boylston Street this year to cheer on fellow Boston College business school classmate Meaghan Zipin, who was running to raise money for charity.
Brittany Loring, another Boston College MBA candidate and Cherney’s best friend, joined her. They hail from opposite sides of the country, but after meeting two years ago they learned that they shared a love of running, the same birthday month — April — and an overachieving streak. Loring is pursuing a dual law and business degree. Cherney is on her second graduate degree, having already earned a master’s in gerontology. They are slated to graduate in three weeks.
The day of the marathon, they had been tracking Zipin’s progress and made it to the finish line in time to blow their friend kisses. Then came a deafening explosion as the first bomb went off.
In the chaos that followed, emergency workers took Cherney and Loring to separate hospitals. Loring ended up at Boston Medical Center, and Cherney was taken to Beth Israel. Both had been blitzed with BBs, nails and other shrapnel that had been packed inside the bomb.
“Where is Liza?” Loring kept asking, her father Dan Loring recalled. In the days that followed, the friends eventually were able to connect by phone, including Tuesday when Loring called to wish Cherney a happy birthday. Loring’s birthday was the day of the attack. Both women turned 29.
Friends who have visited Cherney said she is expected to make a full recovery and was in good spirits. Her family, who flew from California to be at her side, declined to be interviewed.
She and Loring were supposed to celebrate their birthdays together the Saturday after the race. Although it’s delayed, the friends say, the date is one they plan to keep.
— Annys Shin