Amby Burfoot won the 1968 Boston Marathon and has run the race every five years since then. But after last year’s bombing prevented him from crossing the finish line, Burfoot decided to break his tradition by running in 2014.
“It gives me tingles to think about it,” Burfoot told FOX Sports. “Running is a very egocentric activity. You wrap yourself in your own cocoon and know what you have to do to be successful, and try not to get caught up in anyone else’s pace.”
Burfoot was a half-mile away from celebrating the 45th anniversary of his marathon win in Copley Square when he was stopped by frantic crowds reacting to the bombing. He was deeply affected when he discovered that most of the 200 victims of the explosions were those supporting the runners.
“I had survivor’s guilt,” Burfoot said. “I was thinking about how wonderful it was going to be. And here was the real story of what happened.”
Burfoot will run for Team MR8 in honor of Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy who died in the attacks. He looks forward to the enthusiasm of the runners and onlookers in this year’s race.
“This year, the runners will be clapping for the spectators just as much as the other way around, particularly in the final stretch,” Burfoot said. “I picture virtually every runner zig-zagging and slapping high-fives and saying thank you.”
Photo via Facebook/Mount Desert Island Marathon