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Unprecedented kindness - Boston Marathon to call back runners who couldn't finish

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 16th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Several thousand runners who did not get to finish the Boston Marathon because of the terrorist bombings, will be invited back next year. According to Boston officials, about 5,600 runners will get a second chance to finish the race in 2014.

BOSTON, MA (Catholic Online) - The Boston Marathon is an exclusive race. Runners need to post good times in other races to qualify. However, many of those who hadn't yet finished the marathon were charity runners or people who were running for themselves with the goal of simply finishing.

Those people were cheated when two bombs exploded killing three people and injuring  264 more at 2:50 p.m. EDT.

Runners who were still making their way towards the finish line were immediately ushered off the path for their safety. At that time, it was unclear if the route was safe and the finish line had become a disaster area filed with first responders and injured victims.

To make up for the tragic interruption, organizers have said they will announce about 5,600 people back to participate in next year's race.

Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association said, "The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience. With the opportunity to return and participate in 2014, we look forward to inviting back these athletes and we expect that most will renew their marathon training commitment."

It is hoped the special invitations can do something to make up for the loss of the opportunity to finish the race.

Sadly, many of the victims were people who were waiting for loved ones to finish the race. Many of those invited back may be returning and running for a friend or loved one who suffered injuries in the bombings.

The Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by a pair of brothers of Chechen ancestry, who were upset over U.S. activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnev, was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombings while the younger perpetrator, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnev is now in federal custody recovering from wounds he sustained after fighting with police.

Tsarnev left a note for authorities in which he described his brother as a martyr and expressed hope of joining him soon in paradise. Federal prosecutors are likely to ask for the death penalty in his case.

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