Why I’m Running: Lesley Delaney Hawkins is running Boston in memory of Lingzi Lu

"It is so very important to keep Lingzi's memory alive and to honor her life."

Lesley Delaney Hawkins. —Courtesy

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018. Editor’s note: Due to the number of submissions already received, we are no longer accepting entries for this year’s race.

Name: Lesley Delaney Hawkins
Age: 33
From: Dorchester
Bib #: 30260

I am humbled and honored to run the 2018 Boston Marathon in memory of Lingzi Lu and in support of the Lingzi Foundation. As a Bostonian, the Boston Marathon has always had special place in my heart, and the senseless 2013 attack only increased the significance of the race to me personally.


Lingzi was one of the victims who lost her life in this senseless tragedy and too often is a victim whose memory is unintentionally overlooked. The more I learn about Lingzi, the more her spirit and kindness resonate with me. We could all stand to be more like Lingzi, a young woman who was incredibly dedicated to her family, her friends, and to bettering both herself and her community. I like to think that Lingzi would be proud of how Boston, her adopted home, came together following the attack. It is so very important to keep Lingzi’s memory alive and to honor her life.

I was attending graduate school out of state on the date of the bombing and was not in Boston that day. However, a close friend, Lauren Woods, was the Boston police officer stationed at the finish line who rushed to the aid of Lingzi following the blasts and was by her side when she died. This connection to Lingzi is just another reason why I am running for the foundation.

I hope by running the Boston Marathon for the Lingzi Foundation I am helping promote, even if only in some small way, the love and compassion consistently shown by Lingzi during her all too short life.

Lingzi Lu. —Meixu Lu via AP

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.


Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.