Training delay spares Chilliwack runner from Boston bomb blast

As bombs create chaos at the Boston Marathon, Chilliwack runner Michael Downey reflects on how he is supposed to be there.

Michael Downey hasn’t given it much thought, yet, but it might be a good idea that he stayed home.

As bomb blasts created havoc at Monday’s running of the Boston Marathon, the Chilliwack runner watched from the comfort of home.

“I was supposed to go,” said Downey, who appears as the only registered Chilliwack entrant on the marathon website. “But I just got behind in my training and didn’t feel quite as prepared as I wanted to be.”

Downey ran the marathon last year and knew exactly where the explosions happened.

“I was right there last year, along Boylston Street near Copley Square, and I recognize the locale very, very well,” he said. “From what I remember, everything is so tightly cordoned off on race day, and the last thing anyone would have expected is something like this. To see people crossing the finish line in a haze of smoke, it’s hard to believe how something like this might have happened.”

Two bombs exploded near the finish line around 2:50 p.m., killing two and injuring at least 49. Thousands of runners and spectators scattered in panic, creating an unimaginable scene of chaos.

“It would be indescribable,” Downey said. “The first thoughts I had were for the people there, just thinking about the anxiety and fear that must have gone through their minds. And even now, for those who may not know — just terrible, terrible for everyone involved.”

Many who left the scene left behind bags and other packages, all of which were being checked by authorities.

Another blast went off at Boston’s JFK Library, about five miles away, shortly after 4 p.m. EST.

The Boston Marathon draws more than 20,000 participants and 500,000-plus spectators each year.

The entrant list includes one other man with local ties, 51-year-old Agassiz resident Thomas Hoogendoorn.

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