Like a lot of people, Dr. Charles Raper's eyes have been glued to the
television screen as he watched the manhunt for the second suspect accused of
detonating two bombs during Monday's Boston Marathon.
He said, "It's amazing to me that within this short span that they were
identified, the suspects were identified, and actually killed or almost captured
at this particular time, hopefully."
As Dr. Raper watched the continuing coverage, the search has been personal
for him. He was one of the thousands of people who participated in the annual
event. In fact, Dr. Raper, who has run the Boston Marathon nine times, was
within a mile of the finish line when the bombs exploded.
"Unbelievable! It was surreal. It was not real. I could look down
Boston Street and see all the mass of ambulances and fire trucks and
police," Dr. Raper said.
As he watched many of those same responders search for the remaining
suspect, Dr. Raper was pleased to see agencies work together to capture the
As for next year's Boston Marathon, Dr. Raper believes it's going to be just
He said, "It's a gritty city and I think it's just been a tradition for
117 years to go watch the Boston Marathon and I think 118 will carry on, but
tomorrow the scares are going to be there."
Dr. Raper, who has run 131 races of 26 miles or more, plans to participate
in next year's Boston Marathon if he qualifies. Several other East Tennessee
runners who participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon also said they plan to run
in next year's race if they qualify.