SELINSGROVE — A man from Snyder County ran his 27th straight Boston marathon this year and his wife was only two blocks away from where the bombs went off.
Mark Sullivan of Selinsgrove finished the Boston Marathon about a half hour before the bombs went off. He was already back at his hotel but his wife was near the finish line at the time of the explosions. The two shared their story with Newswatch 16
The Boston Marathon is a race close to Mark Sullivan’s heart. He finished Monday’s race about a half hour before the bombs went off. His wife Robin was walking from the finish line back to their hotel to meet him when she heard two loud booms.
“People said, ‘oh it must be fireworks.’ I said, ‘I’ve been here 27 times and they don’t set off fireworks,’” Robin said.
“When you run the same marathon 27 times in a row, there are certain things you count on year after year; it becomes a pattern for you. This was just so different in so many ways and everything just changed,” said Mark.
Mark ran with eight other people from this area and everyone was OK. He and robin were forced to stay inside a restaurant during the aftermath of the bombings.
“It was one of those scenes you saw after 9/11 when everyone was running away from the situation on a cell phone and crying,” Mark recalled.
The couple from Selinsgrove discussed their experience at the Boston Marathon over lunch near Shamokin Dam. Mark was at an expo before the marathon on Friday night with tens of thousands of other people. He says he found two unattended bags and security did not check bags at the expo.
“I just thought this guy figured there was no real threat. But now in retrospect, this happened on Friday night and of course the bombs went off on Monday.”
Mark plans to go back to Boston next year to run his 28th straight Boston Marathon.
“If they think they’re going to scare runners away, I think they’ve done just the opposite. I think people will be more determined than ever to get to Boston.”
Mark says he normally finishes the Boston Marathon a few hours earlier and sits at the finish line with his wife when he’s done, but this year he had an injury and ran slower.
Had he finished at his normal time, he and his wife would have been sitting right across the street from where the bombs went off.