Local marathoners reflect on Boston tragedy

Posted at: 04/16/2013 11:35 PM
By: Dan Levy

ALBANY - The Boston Marathon nightmare has already changed the landscape of Capital Region distance running. It has changed the psyche, the scenery, and the security concerns of participants not just today, but down the road.

In a sport known for its peaceful solitude, the violent images from downtown Boston on Monday left members of the Albany Running Exchange carrying on in humane solidarity Tuesday night.

"I wanted to make it a little bit more (memorable)," said Ryan Nix, of the Albany Running Exchange, before running laps with other club members at the University at Albany. "I wanted to try to gather more people here in light of the events in Boston to show our support for the victims."

Jack Berkery, of Latham, took it a step further, doing something he's never done before in his life. A diehard New York Yankees fan, Berkery actually went out and bought a Boston Red Sox baseball cap.

"They wore Yankees hats at 9-11 and we have to return the favor," he says.

Speaking of return, Paul Forbes of Colonie, who runs locally for Team Euphoria, says he intends to return for his eleventh Boston Marathon next year.

"The spectators are the ones that took the brunt of the injuries," he points out, "we have to go back next year just to honor the people that were injured."

Forbes, himself, was injured during Monday's marathon, not by any bomb blasts, but rather when he tripped and fell out on the race course.

"I crossed the finish line and they immediately put me in the medical tent," he recalled.

The very same medical team that treated Forbes for his scrapes and bruises, just moments later, found themselves attending to massive trauma victims.

Meanwhile, when the starter's pistol sounds in downtown Albany on June 1st, more than 5,000 runners will be off in the annual Freihofer's Run for Women. Race director George Regan is responsible for everyone's safety on that day.

"This event starts and finishes one block from the New York State Capitol so it is one of the securest pieces of real estate in New York State," Regan says.

Regan also says that local police agencies initiated security changes after the 9-11 attacks, and many of those protocols are still in place.