BOSTON (WPRI) — The 2014 Boston Marathon was a way for many to show their strength and recovery from adversity – not just from the tragedy at last year’s race, but from other hardships as well.
Rhode Island State Police Detective Brendan Doyle completed Monday’s race in a personal best 2 hours, 41 minutes and 12 seconds – an incredible feat for any person. It was especially significant for Doyle though, since an injury he suffered seven years ago left him unable to walk.
Doyle was left in a coma after he was viciously attacked while off duty in Providence. From being bedridden to learning to write again to training for a marathon, he overcame more than his share of hurdles to get where he is today.
“Training in New England, in the freezing cold, with the snowstorms, that’s what makes it tough. That’s what gives you the drive,” he said.
Running is also in his family’s blood. His father Bobby Doyle was a famous runner, finishing in the top ten on several occasions.
“He won his last marathon, the Newport Marathon in 1991. My bib number today was 1991. I don’t know if it was a sign or what, but it was pretty cool,” said Doyle.
Bobby passed away seven years ago, just six month after his son’s injury. Brendan said he could feel his father’s presence, giving him a little extra kick up Heartbreak Hill.
Doyle also said he found inspiration from the strength shown by those affected by the bombings last year.
“I was injured but nothing, nothing like they were, so I have the utmost respect for the survivors of the tragedy last year,” he added.
Doyle was the second Rhode Islander to cross the finish line, behind John Reilly of Cumberland. He and about a dozen other R.I. state troopers raised more than $12,000 on behalf of Cops for Kids with Cancer.