Training Partners Aren't Merely Survivors; They're 'Overcomers'

Monday, April 13th 2020, 1:46 pm

The 2020 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was postponed over concerns about the COVID-19 virus. However, that didn't stop two survivors from training.

Daina Bradley and Amy Downs will be the first to tell you that they're very different people.

"I go through some of the same things she goes through," Bradley said.

They're bonded together forever by the events of April 19, 1995. In an instant, both were buried in the rubble of the Murrah Building.

"But yet we have some of the exact same battles as far as our emotions around this time of year," Downs said.

Through a miracle, they both made it. Downs committed herself to losing weight and focusing on her health while Bradley faces each day with a prosthetic leg.

They inspire each other.

"Daina kept telling me, 'You're so inspirational!' and I'm like, 'No, you don't understand. You're the most inspirational person I've ever met,'" said Downs.

"Every morning, you put your leg on and you battle the day," Bradley said.

It was that admiration that drove Bradley to ask about walking a race, a quest that changed this pair's relationship from friends to training partners.

"She was like, 'I walk about a mile right now,' and I'm thinking, 'We can do this!'" Downs said.

"This is one of those I want to achieve and go all the way through. I never had the chance to go all the way through with anything," Bradley said.

Downs has completed an Iron Man triathlon and several marathons, but in 2019, she walked the half marathon at the Memorial race in honor of Bradley. This year, the pair's goal was to make new memories crossing that finish line together.

"We're coming back, as not just survivors. We're overcomers," Downs said.

But days before the pair was set to start training, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Oklahoma City.

The anxiety and dread surrounding the unknown of the coronavirus pandemic has been a painful trigger for Bradley and Downs.

"There's a level of anxiety that is going on with us as spring starts happening, and then you add this pandemic on top of it, and it's a real trigger for PTSD," Downs said.

Together, they wrestle with their feelings, but they aren't changing their goal. They still plan to walk the 5K on the Memorial Marathon's new date in October.

"I was stoked up to do this. I'm ready. I'm still ready," Bradley said.


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