Local runners react to Boston Marathon attack

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— After explosions shook runners and spectators near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three and injuring more than 100, people across the world were shocked.

It was no different for members of the running community in Craig.

Although no runners from Craig participated in the race in 2013, one resident did qualify but chose not to go.

Randy Morton completed the Arizona Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in three hours, 39 minutes to qualify for Boston this year, but because of the expenses of the trip, he decided to stay in town and train for the Salt Lake City Marathon this weekend.

Morton said he heard the news about the bombings late in the day Monday.

“It sounded pretty devastating,” Morton said. “It makes you wonder what could have been the potential motive. You could speculate all day. But there’s so much dispersion (of people) throughout the country (at the marathon). There were something like 500 from Colorado and several from Steamboat. Chances are you’re not far away from somebody who participated or know someone who knew somebody participating.”

Morton said his thoughts also went to what might have happened to him had he decided to make the trip to Boston this year. With most of his times near or under 3:45, he was confident he would have been clear of the blast, which went off soon after the four-hour mark.

“I was thinking about where I would have been, had I gone,” he said. “I convinced myself I would have finished fast enough. And knowing my basic habits, I usually don’t stick around the finish very long because I’m so drained. Maybe Boston would have been different.”

Todd Trapp, who never has run in the Boston event but has run qualifying times at the Steamboat Marathon multiple times, talked about the tragedy of the bomb, especially because it happened near the finish, a place in the race reserved for celebration.

“You think about those families there to cheer their loved ones on to a finish, and to be caught at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Trapp said. “It’s supposed to be such a joy to finish a marathon. It’s such excitement.”

Morton echoed those sentiments, saying the post-race time is some of the best.

“Half the race is to celebrate after,” he said. “Something like that totally ruins the celebration.”

Both men talked about the hundreds of hours that go into preparing for a marathon and how qualifying for Boston can be a lifetime achievement for many amateur runners.

“Those who’ve run know how much hard work you put into it. It’s a daily routine,” Trapp said. “Especially the ultimate achievement of Boston. It’s tough to put something like this in perspective.”

But Morton also touched on the hard work of runners in a positive way. He doesn’t expect Monday’s disaster to keep the community down and plans to showing his support and work ethic in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

“Long-distance runners have to really be dedicated, and they’re a resilient group,” he said. “I expect when I run the Salt Lake City Saturday for there to be a lot of green.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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