NEWS

Montreal marathoners return after Boston attacks

04/16/2013 12:05 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT
Montreal runners in the Boston Marathon began returning home this morning after yesterday’s flights were delayed.

About 370 runners from Quebec participated in the race, with about 80 of them hailing from Montreal.

Tina Kader arrived at Trudeau airport on a flight from Boston shortly after 8 a.m.

She said she had finished the race and was showering in her hotel room when the blasts went off.

Her husband and two-year-old daughter were still outside along the race route but were not hurt.

Another Montreal runner, Sonia Sabourin, said she had finished the race just 13 minutes before the first device was detonated.

“I was about to get my bags when I heard the first explosion,” she said.

“It was just unreal. I couldn’t believe it was happening on marathon day.”

Natalie Gosselin, a two-time Boston Marathon runner arriving in Montreal this morning, shared Sabourin’s disbelief.

She didn’t witness the explosions first-hand as she had finished the race before they went off.

She did, however, hear them while walking back to the family meeting place after crossing the finish line.

Gosselin said her first thoughts upon hearing the blasts were, “I just ran a

marathon. I came here for that and now I’ve put my life in danger, I put my friend’s life in danger.”

She said that while she had fun running the race, she doesn’t know if she’d return for a third Boston Marathon.

“I’m really hesitant. It hasn’t really sunk in,” Gosselin said.

“It wasn’t a celebration.”

Here at home, the Montreal running community is rallying in support of the participants in yesterday’s Boston Marathon.

Marc Cassivi, a runner and columnist for La Presse, said he’s organizing a run this Sunday at 11 a.m. starting from the base of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier statue in Mount Royal Park.

“In our community of runners, even if we don’t know each other, social media has brought us together,” he said.

“I think we wanted to mark this tragedy in a way, and the most natural way of doing it is running together.”

Another run organized by Montreal running coach Dorys Langlois left from Jeanne-Mance park on Tuesday afternoon.

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