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Maryville Boston Marathon participant watches manhunt for bombing suspect

7:01 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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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 accused.

As for next year's Boston Marathon, Dr. Raper believes it's going to be just as exciting.

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.

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