The president of a running club is preparing to make an emotional return to Boston, 12 months after he was caught up in the drama of the bomb explosions at last year’s marathon.
Paul Rogerson, of Church Street, Braunston, was about than half a mile from completing the race when the bombs went off at the finish line, leaving three people dead and at least 170 injured.
Luckily, Paul, who is the president of Rutland Running Club, emerged unhurt and is now determined to finish this year’s event.
He said: “I think it’s going to be quite emotional going around the route again.
“The Americans wear their heart on their sleeve and I think it will have a very different feel.
“It will be very nice to get to the finish line because a lot of effort goes into preparing for a marathon and the Boston race is one you have to qualify for.”
This year’s event takes place on Monday, April 21.
Paul, 65, is set to fly out to the US on April 17 with his wife Cheryl, 59, who will be cheering him on as he crosses the finish line.
Paul, who has been running marathons for over 10 years, said: “Last year was my first Boston Marathon and I went on my own.
“I was very lucky that I did because my wife would’ve been waiting at the finish where the explosions went off.
“When we were stopped during the race, I had no idea what was going on.
“I knew it must have been something serious because have never had a race stopped before.
“It wasn’t until much later that we found out what happened and were told about the bombs.”
Paul said he was prepared for tighter security measures this year. He has been told he cannot wear his backpack, which he regularly wears during races,
Paul added: “It’s going to be like going through airport security. I’m only allowed to wear a small belt with a clear water bottle.
“I’ve been training hard for it and can’t wait to finish this year. I’m not really going for a time, I just want to enjoy it.”
In the aftermath of last year’s tragedy, Paul returned to the scene to take pictures of the flowers and tributes people had left for those who lost their lives.
Speaking to the Mercury on his arrival back in the UK, he said: “Some of the tributes are really moving.
The city is really coming together.
“When I left, the finish line was still cordoned off and there were camera crews and media at every intersection.”