This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Nicole Dunsmore
When alumnus Adam McCready returned to his home in Watertown, Mass. four days after the Boston Marathon last April, a SWAT team greeted him in his front yard.
During next 24 hours, his neighborhood was shut down as police searched for the two bombers who had planted explosives at the finish line days before.
“I got in a cab and got home only to find the suspects literally in my backyard,” McCready said.
He, his wife and their one-year-old child were on lockdown when officers exchanged fire in a nearly 12 minute shootout with the suspects, who had camped out in a boat owned by a nearby resident. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during that firefight.
McCready, the assistant director of fraternities, sororities and independent living groups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was also in his office just half a block away when the suspects shut down the campus and fatally shot an officer named Sean Collier. He had been serving as the on-call dean that night, and was one of the early mobilizers charged with securing the school.
McCready will join 39 other runners next week in the Boston Marathon group called MIT Strong, which will run in Collier’s honor. The three dozen-member team was selected out of hundreds of students and staff members who applied.
Each team member was impacted by the bombing last year in a different way – some were at the finish line close to where the explosion occurred, while others were police officers. Others, like McCready, also live in Watertown where the Tsarnaev brothers were found.
“We have a lot of different experiences, but we’ve been brought together because of this opportunity that benefits the community and allows us all to heal,” McCready said.
Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the marathon.
McCready said he trained for 12 weeks, overcoming a pelvis injury to prepare himself for the race on April 21. It will be the third time running the Boston marathon and his seventh overall, but he said this year’s will be the most meaningful.
“I think it has become a very positive rallying point for the community in trying to do something productive to move past some really challenging emotional experience,” McCready said.
Before graduating from GW in 2002, he was a member of the varsity cross country team, Theta Delta Chi fraternity and the ultimate frisbee team. Many of his close friends at GW helped him raise money for the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund, which will establish a medal given to a member of MIT’s community every year.
McCready said he wants to raise $17,900 in memory of Collier’s badge number: 179. As of April 14, he has raised $4,237.20.