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Boston Marathon: Pawleys runner finishes race before bomb

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Pawleys Island runner Chris Fischer wasn’t thrilled with his time in Monday’s Boston Marathon, but he finished the race 30 minutes before two bombs exploded near the finish line.

Fischer had already met his wife, Madeleine, and children Luke, 9, and Caroline, 4, at a family meeting area about a half-mile from the finish line and was heading for Boston Common when he saw emergency vehicles racing toward Copley Square, where the race ends. Fischer said he used his phone to go online and find out about the explosions that killed three and injured nearly 150. At least 13 people have had limbs amputated, according to news reports.

The explosions occurred at about 2:45 p.m., more than two hours after the first of the race’s nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line, CNN reported. The blasts were about 50 to 100 yards apart, officials said, on a stretch of the marathon course lined with spectators cheering runners through the final yards of a 26-mile, 385-yard endurance race.

Fischer said his wife and children were never in danger, choosing to avoid the packed crowd near the finish. “There are so many people and so many runners,” he said, “they were unlikely to see me.”

Fischer said it’s been his dream to run in the Boston Marathon, but Monday’s events made the experience surreal.

“Overall, the people of Boston were absolutely fabulous with how they handled it,” he said. “They were super friendly before and after. It’s sad that such a world-class event was marred by someone.”

Fischer, the operations manager for Trebol USA in Andrews, qualified for the Boston Marathon by running the Kiawah Island Marathon in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Fischer said he trains by running on the beach at Pawleys Island near his home off the South Causeway. His time Monday on Boston’s hilly course was just over 3 hours and 36 minutes.

“I felt that I put in a good, solid race,” he said. “I marched up Heartbreak Hill pretty well without leg cramps, but everything is pretty sore after that many miles.”

Fans at the race are being asked for pictures that might reveal a suspect with a black backpack carrying the explosives packed into pressure cookers. Shreds of the backpack have been recovered from the blast site.

“I expect somebody has pictures,” Fisher said. “There were four or five professional photographers along the finish line with cameras running continuously.”

He said the terrorist attack will not prevent him from returning to Boston’s big race.

“I noticed a fair amount of security before the race, lookouts on top of schools,” he said. “They will get it fixed.”

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