Boston marathoner: Bombing ‘took something away from us’

Filipino triathlete Arland Macasieb tells Rappler he will not let attackers win and vows to keep racing rather than live in fear

HEARTBREAK. A runner breaks down at the Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded at the finish line. Photo from Twitter user @bcheights

MANILA, Philippines – He has been a triathlete for over 16 years, but nothing could have prepared him for the bombings at the Boston marathon.

“It’s really a sad day for the sport. It’s taken something away from us,” Filipino racer and coach Arland Macasieb told Rappler on Tuesday, April 16 at its #BostonMarathon Google Hangout.

“The Boston finishing line is a holy grail for some runners and it was sacrilege what happened there,” he said.

Macasieb was one of 18 Filipinos who raced at the the world’s oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15. At 2:50 pm Boston time (2:50 am Manila time), two bombs exploded simultaneously about 10 seconds apart by the race’s finish line, killing at least 3 and injuring at least 144.

IN PHOTOS: Boston Marathon blasts

At the time of the explosion, Macasieb was already on the train, on his way home, and only found out about the bombing when he reached his apartment. Other runners who had yet to finish, were completely clueless about the bombings and were confused when authorities stopped them about half a mile before the finish line, and were not allowed to continue.

In recounting his experience, Macasieb said his initial reaction was “disbelief” — “why would anyone want to do this?” — and soon after, worry.

“Where are my other guys? I was texting and just trying to make sure my teammates were safe,” he said.

None of the Filipinos were injured by the bombings.

Macasieb said he was inspired by the support and the coming together of the Philippine community, adding, “It’s nice to know we have the nation behind us.”

While Macasieb admitted the explosion affected him, he also emphasized he would not let it defeat him. Macasieb vowed to participate in future races, including the upcoming 50K race from Tagaytay to Nasugbu.

“If we don’t participate, we let these guys win, those responsible for the attack. That’s what they want. They want us to live in fear,” he said.

“We need to go on with our lives… I’m gonna race. I’m not gonna let this stop me.” –

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