Portsmouth runner’s pledge after Boston Marathon bombs

Christina Spiers from Portsmouth Joggers
Christina Spiers from Portsmouth Joggers
Police have closed the road

Man is hit by vehicle in Cosham

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A Portsmouth runner caught up in the Boston Marathon bombings has vowed it won’t stop her racing.

Christina Spiers was just one road away when the bombs went off at the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds more.

The 28-year-old had finished the race 30 minutes before and was catching up with her boyfriend Jason Dawes.

Miss Spiers, a 28-year-old runner with Portsmouth Joggers, finished in 3hrs, 44min and 54sec.

Luckily she left the finish area quickly to meet her boyfriend.

She said she was thinking about the families of those killed and injured but the terrorists would not stop her running.

She said: ‘The atmosphere in Boston is very quiet and people are obviously shocked about what happened and a lot of roads have been closed off.

‘It will not put me off doing another race. The next race I’m running is the Milton Keynes marathon in three weeks’ time. If attacks like this stop people doing things they love for a good cause the people responsible have made an even bigger impact on the lives of ordinary people and I would not like them to have that satisfaction.

‘Anyone who tries to kill innocent people and their families is sick and I just hope that they catch who was responsible.’

Miss Spiers is due home later today.

Meanwhile Nick Bailey 56, from Chichester, thanked the fact that he is a slow runner for missing the explosions.

Posting on Facebook, the West Sussex County Council worker said: ‘I am fine – sometimes it’s good to be a little slow.

‘I was about a mile from the finish when the second bomb went off so we were stopped and evacuated six miles out and it’s taken well over four hours to get things sorted – like the bags.

‘If I hadn’t had a muscle pull on Heartbreak Hill and slowed down, who knows?

‘My sympathies go out to all the runners who died and those who lost their legs.’

The attack is the worst terrorist atrocity in the US since the September 11 attacks.

And Alan Shons, secretary of Portsmouth Joggers was defiant on behalf of all runners.

He said: ‘As a human being, as well as a sporting club, this is a tragedy. We won’t let anything that’s happened affect what we do. We will all be continuing our running and going to London on Sunday.

‘We don’t want to let these crazy, sick people control our lives.’

Attack won’t stop us running London

And competitors in Portsmouth are determined to do the London Marathon despite the tragic events in Boston.

Runners have vowed to take part in the race, albeit with some apprehension, as they do not want to let down their respective charities.

Peter Routley, who is running for Children with Cancer UK, said: ‘I would not have pulled out of the marathon unless they decided to cancel the event.

‘I am still very much looking forward to it and I am proud of the money I have raised for the charity.

‘I am doing it for them and I am determined to see it through.’

Hannah Wakeford, 23, from Fratton admitted she was a little nervous but would definitely carry on.

She said: ‘The London Marathon will probably be the safest marathon after everything that happened in Boston.

‘I am a little nervous but I am still looking forward to it.

‘Anything can happen on any given day so you just have to get on with it.’

Darin Melville and Nina Barrett will be running together for the Stroke Association.

Mr Melville, from Havant, said: ‘I’m not nervous at all. It will still go ahead and hopefully the majority of people will take part.

‘It’s the British mentality. You can’t not do it because the bad boys will win.’

It’s Mr Melville’s eighth London Marathon and Mrs Barrett’s second.