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Friday, October 24, 2014
Boston bombings revive memories of 9/11
Runners say violence won't deter marathon participation
By Ann E. Friedman
Courtesy Aaron Freilich
Lawrence resident, Aaron Freilich, ran in his fifth Boston Marathon on April 15. He is shown at mile 20.

Hewlett resident Steven Greenberg completed his 17th Boston Marathon on Monday, running considerably faster than he had planned and finishing less than 10 minutes before two bombs exploded near the finish line.

“Somehow God put an angel on my shoulder,” he said. “I crossed the finish line, got my medal, hopped into a cab and went to my hotel.”

Back at his hotel, he turned on the television. “I didn’t even know it took place,” he said of the blasts. “At first I thought it may have been a gas leak, but when the second explosion went off, I realized it wasn’t. I got in my car and drove home.”

As of press time, three people were confirmed dead as a result of the explosions, and more than 170 were injured — some critically.

Driving west on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Greenberg saw what he estimated to be 75 police cars, ambulances and fire trucks heading east into Boston. “The worst part was when I crossed the finish line, I called my wife from a spectator’s phone [before going to the hotel],” he said. “[After the bombs went off] she didn’t hear from me for an hour. Everyone started calling her and telling her to turn on the television. She was so worried, and was at home crying.”

Atlantic Beach resident Richard Brodsky was also in Boston, watching his wife, Jodi, run the marathon. “She finished 90 seconds to two minutes ahead of the bomb,” Richard said. “I was five minutes away [from where the bombs went off] and it was very loud; it was like reliving 9/11.”

Like Greenberg, Brodsky and his wife headed back to their hotel, which was 20 miles outside Boston. “We were thrilled to get out of the city,” he said. “There must have been 20 police cars with sirens on the way back to the hotel.”

Brodsky has run nearly 40 marathons across the country and has never experienced a threat. “Right after 9/11, Jodi and I ran the New York City Marathon, and I remember turning back and looking at the Verrazano Bridge and breathing a sigh of relief that it was still there,” he recalled. “It’s always in the back of your mind, but you don’t want these things to get to you. I don’t like to live in fear.”

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