Well, I was asked to write a “Utah Reaction” to the Boston Marathon explosions, but I didn’t get on it in time … I was a few minutes late. Oh, well.
I did have a friend of mine who was out there, tell me a little bit about his experience, and I hate to waste it. So here it is, and it was all edited by ksl.com, so it has to be perfect :). They may still publish it, but I am very impatient.
Utah runner reacts to attack at Boston Marathon, says he would ‘absolutely’ run race again
The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. This year’s race featured approximately 26,000 entrants, most of which had to run a qualifying time to earn entry into the highly sought-after race.
According to the Boston Athletic Association’s website, a little more than 350 runners from Utah participated in this year’s marathon.
Most of them not only had to run a qualifying time, but had to spend months training for the event, that for many, could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For months, these athletes prepared their bodies by logging long miles every day. Runners from Utah, across the country and across the world saved hard-earned money, took off work, and left home with their families to travel to this prestigious event.
One such participant is elite runner Brandon Dase of Spanish Fork. Dase, having traveled there with five other runners from Utah, had qualified for this race after running an impressive 2:39.54.
Dase had posted a picture the night before the marathon of him eating a pre-race meal with his friends. They were all ready and prepared for the day ahead.
One thing they were not prepared for was what would take place at the finish line, however.
At just over the four-hour mark, two bombs went detonated near the finish line. Police said the attack has killed at least three people and injured at least 124.
Dase finished over an hour before the bombs went off, but was still affected by the horrific event. Here is his reaction on the race and the tragic events after:
KSL.com: How was the race?
Dase: The marathon for me was the toughest and most satisfying race I have ever run. The crowds at Boston have to be experienced to be understood; they were amazing. It was a very special day.
KSL.com: Where were you when the explosions hit?
Dase: We were all on the bus that had been stopped because of all the people when the explosions happened. The bus driver thought he had hit something; it was that loud. None of us knew what had happened.
Then we saw people running in all directions away from the finish area as they were being evacuated. We still didn’t know what was going on. We hoped on Twitter feeds to find out.
They tried to divert and stop runners while evacuating the area at the same time. It was handled very promptly and seriously by everyone. The city officials, officers, workers and people here are amazing.
KSL.com: What are you doing right now?
Dase: We’re still processing the whole day. Obviously our main concern is with those who were affected by the explosions and for the safety of all who were there. This will be a very memorable day that runs a gamut of emotions.
We are all trying to contact family members and friends, which is hard because of the cell traffic. It was stressful while we were getting back to our house. We had to walk a long way, catch trains and buses, and walk some more. It took us over 2 1/2 hours to go just a few miles. The train and bus workers and all locals were clapping for marathoners wherever we went. It was incredible. They let us ride the buses and trains for free. This city is a special place.
KSL.com: Given the circumstances, would you do it again?
Dase: I would absolutely do it again. To live in fear is not to live. A marathon is a celebration of the human spirit. The Boston Marathon is that coupled with the celebration of the American spirit. I will always strive to be a part of both.
Brandon Dase is an exceptional runner, but a far more extraordinary man. His life as an exemplary husband, father and friend will always be meaningful to me. I’m happy he and the other Utah runners are safe. Prayers and our heart felt sympathy go out to those directly affected.
Brandon, you are my hero. Keep living, man; keep living.
Brandon, you make us all proud to be your family! We all love you so much! Our love and prayers go out to the families that lost lives or were injured!
Thank you so much Brother Dase. You are an amazing example to me, and all those you come in contact with. I’m so glad your alright and I know you will never stop being extraordinary. Love you my friend and thank you.
I totally agree what Brandon said. We cannot succumb to the act of terror we witnessed and we need to show whomever that such act is totally wasted.
Very true, Koji. Did you run it this year?
I ran and want to run again next year!
Good for you!
So cool! Maybe I’ll see you there (amidst the thousands ;).