Boston survivor to run marathon again

Published Friday, 18 April 2014
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A Co Down man who witnessed the aftermath of last year's Boston Marathon bombing is preparing to return to the city to take part in the race again next week.

Boston survivor to run marathon again
Athlete Michael Roberts spoke to UTV on Friday at his Co Down home. (© UTV)

Michael Roberts, from Crawfordsburn, will travel to Boston on Saturday to take part in the city's 114th marathon on Monday.

Mr Roberts told UTV that he wants to show "solidarity" with the people of Boston.

Remembering the moment the bombs exploded, he said: "It was a hard run for me and I stumbled a bit at the end and they brought me into the medical tent for a little bit of observation.

"I was in the medical tent, which is quite close to the finish line, as the two bombs went off and I said to someone 'I know what that sounds like.'

"There was a great deal of stunned silence outside and mayhem. You're just bewildered and I was too."

Four people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy, and 260 others were injured when Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line last year.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnev was captured and is awaiting trial. He said during interrogation that he and his brother were motivated by an Islamic political ideology and opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Security has been increased for this year's marathon. There will be a greater police presence and competitors will have to keep their belongings in clear plastic bags.

Mr Roberts said last year's events would be on everyone's minds during the marathon.

"There will be a great sigh of relief when it's over. I think there'll be a lot of emotion. I think there'll be a lot of t-shirts with 'Boston strong' on it."

However, his focus will still be on the race: "I'm just hoping I run reasonably well and I will get a chance to see my friends again."

© UTV News
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