Boston University grad and marathon runner Kevin Rader on bombings: ‘Bad things can happen in public places’by Dara Kam | April 19th, 2013
Marathon runner and Boston University alum Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, reflected on the bombings just blocks away from his old residence.
Rader, an avid runner who’s completed two marathons and many half-marathons, said he watched four of the Boston races while a student at the university. Rader said the course passed by his home on Beacon Street.
“I cheered people on, not only the people in the lead but the average people who train for the Boston marathon. It’s a race you have to qualify for. You just can’t run it,” he said.
Rader likened the bombings to the type of attacks Israelis encounter on a daily basis.
Rader, who is married to a rabbi, has been to Israel 10 times and lived there for a year, including the time when former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995.
“It feels like being in Israel to a small degree where you know that bad things can happen in public places. This is what Israelis live under 24 hours a day seven days a week,” he said. “Can you imagine the realm of possibilities if this is the way that terrorists are going to target innocent people? It’s very scary.”
Rader said that runners are physically and mentally exhausted after running the 26.2-mile race.
“When you run a marathon your body takes several days to recover, sometimes a week.
You can’t go up and down stairs after you run a marathon. You’re in a very weak physical state. And a lot of those folks who finished were then walking in that general area when the bombs went off. From a running perspective, it’s like a double physical injury all at once. It’s so traumatic. It really makes me scared in any kind of crowd now because you’ve got to be very, very careful about what people are going to do,” Rader said.
Rader recalled his first marathon, which he said he didn’t properly train for like many first-time racers.
“I was dead at 18 miles. I had a friend who met me at 21. I couldn’t talk. When I was finishing that last half mile I was actually crying because I was so overjoyed that I did it.
I’ve done a lot of things and haven’t teared up like that. But it was such a great physical accomplishment that…such a few of us do. You’re in such a delirious happy state by finishing,” he said.
The Boston University alumni association sent e-mails to members after the event, including this one sent Tuesday:
Dear Alumni and Friends:
Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings. We just learned that among those injured were two BU students, including one who was killed. The names of these members of our BU family are being withheld, but we can relay that the severely injured student is in stable condition. Words cannot express the sense of loss felt by the entire BU community.
We know that all BU alumni around the world are deeply saddened by this news. There has been an enormous tide of support for Boston, the University and those whose lives have been changed forever.
You can find up-to-date news at BU Today along with a statement from Boston University President Robert Brown. We also encourage you to continue to support one another by sharing experiences, words of encouragement and offering support to those in need on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you again for your continued support as our University and our BU family unite, recover and grow stronger during this time.
Your BU Alumni Association