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Director of Columbus Marathon Witnesses Boston Marathon Bombings


UPDATED: Tuesday April 16, 2013 11:44 PM

The Director of the Columbus Marathon said he witnessed the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon.

Darris Blackford and his wife ran the Boston marathon.

He told 10tv's Glenn McEntyre he had just returned to his hotel room when the first bomb went off. His hotel room overlooked the finish line.

"I had just turned on the local news." he said. "And the next thing I hear is a huge explosion outside my hotel window. And I start to walk to the window and I hear a second explosion. And as I look out the window, I can see everything unfolding in front of me. I see the smoke from the two explosions right on the finish line. I see all the participants being stopped in one area.  And I knew this was not some type of accident or some type of celebration that had gone awry. It was a very serious situation."

Blackford says he was overtaken by anger, then by panic.

"When I was standing at that window looking out, I just said, 'I can't believe they did this!' I kept repeating it to myself. I initially panicked because my wife was not back yet. She had run the race. She had finished after me. So I threw my shoes on, I went to the elevator, the elevator doors opened, and there she was. I knew she was safe."

Despite his experience in Boston, he said he feels good about security for the Columbus Marathon.

"I feel safe in our community. Columbus and central Ohio, we have so many large-scale events with a great plan, a great safety team here, that I feel we're in good hands. I understand that some people may not want to sign up for our event. Some people may be afraid. And that's okay. If people are registered for our race and they want to drop out, we would certainly understand. But I hope they also understand that we are taking every step, and making a commitment to them to help keep them as safe as possible. So believe in that, and don't give up on their own feelings of freedom."

Blackford said security for the Columbus Marathon will be re-examined and reinforced based on what happened, and what is learned about what happened, in Boston.

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