Despite Bombings, Lynchburg Man Returns To Run Boston Marathon - WSET.com - ABC13

Despite Bombings, Lynchburg Man Returns To Run Boston Marathon

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Lynchburg, VA - Among the thousands that crossed the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013 was Jeff Harrington, a Lynchburg man, who is going back to run again in this year's race.

Harrington said he's running the race again not for fun, not for pride, and not for pageantry. He said he's running to be in the city again, and in the race that will forever hold a special place in his heart.

"Oh my word, that's not even 50 yards from where the explosion took place now that I look at it" said Harrington as he referenced a picture of him at the marathon finish.

Harrington finished his first 26 miles in Boston less than an hour before bombs rocked the finish.

"It sounded like bombs going off, you're thinking of 9/11 or I was. It's emotional and somewhere in there, still had cell service, family's calling me and we're listening to it on the radio and yeah, it just takes any of the joy out of it" he said.

Harrington was headed out of the city when the disaster began to unfold, and when the phone calls began to pour in from those friends he had, still feet from the finish.

"Sure enough he was the one to call me to ask me if I'm ok because he wasn't far away at all. He saw the dust and everything going off, the bomb" he said.

It was Harrington's moment, but for him and so many, it would be a moment shrouded in sadness.

"There's no question after what happened last year I want to go back and support Bostonians" he said.

So, for a year, he's been training, donning a green Boston Celtics shirt, and envisioning that Boston finish line again.

"Just coming across the finish line I welled up and got emotional. Just going back to support the entire marathon, the people, the fans, the spectators, it's like a 26 mile parade, the entire way folks are cheering for you" he said.

Harrington will return to Boston with a few other folks from Lynchburg. This year's race will be record breaking with more than 35,000 runners. Those that did not finish last year's race were invited to return this time.

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