Many of the videos circulating of yesterday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon show a lone runner falling to the ground immediately after the first blast.
The runner was Bill Iffrig, a 78-year-old from Washington state who has run the Boston Marathon three times.
Iffrig spoke with Steve Levy of ESPN last night. He said that he was about 15 feet from the finish line when the shockwave of the first blast turned his legs to “noodles.” He was dazed, but never went on unconscious. When he regained his alertness he decided to finish the race with the help of a race assistant
“The shockwaves must of hit my body and my legs started going to noodles and I knew I was going down. So I laid on the blacktop. I wasn’t unconscious at any time. I woke up, became alert, a little later and looked everything over and it looked OK.
“So I made an attempt to get up and as I did that one of the assistants on the finish line saw what I was doing and came over and gave me a hand. And so he walked me on over to the finish line so I could finish. And then he said he’d take me over and give me a wheelchair ride out of here but at that time I said, ‘I don’t think I need it, the hotel’s about six blocks away so I can get up there.”
He said this year’s race was going much better than last year’s until the final few feet:
“Well I came last year and the weather was so bad, it was so hot, that I had a really bad day. But this year I had a good day. I had a good. But this incident did kind of spoil it.”
Here’s video of the ESPN interview:
Iffrig is also the subject of this iconic photo:
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