WOODBURY - Some Long Island runners who were there when the bombs went off during last year’s Boston Marathon are gearing up to return for next week’s race.
Kathi Berson, of Fort Salonga, was less than a mile from the finish line when the two bombs exploded. Just before the race, Berson’s family made a life-saving decision to wait for her about a mile before the finish and not at the finish line.
“It was just luck,” Berson told News 12. “I said the finish line is going to be a mob scene and the last 2/10 of the marathon are the hardest. I felt if I could see them there, I could finish.”
North Babylon’s Wil Wideman, who has run three Boston Marathons, crossed the finish line an hour before the bombs exploded. He says it’s important to return to the race as a sign of solidarity.
“[Terrorists] are not going to break our spirit…We are going to be strong,” said Wideman.
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev were charged with planning and orchestrating the attack that killed three people and wounded 260. Tamerlan died following a shootout with police days after the bombings.
A flag raising ceremony and a moment of silence was held at the finish line in Boston Tuesday to commemorate one year since the bombings.
For extended interviews with Berson and Wideman, watch the clip to the left or go to News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.