A runner from Sheffield will remember the ‘surreal’ moment he completed the Boston Marathon – only for it to be ripped apart by the terror of a bombing attack.
Anthony Meenaghan, aged 23, from Bramall Lane, is to run the race again on Monday.
He had just completed the 26.2 mile run and was waiting at the finish line for his dad Tony on April 15, 2013, when the marathon was stopped after two pressure cooker bombs exploded.
Three spectators died and more than 200 were injured in the chaos, which led to the Army being called in, the city being closed down and airspace being restricted.
Anthony said: “One minute I had completed the marathon and was really happy and in a matter of seconds everything had changed.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening, it was so surreal.
“I had finished about 20 minutes before the first explosion so I collected my bag and medal and waited for my dad to finish.
“But they stopped him at mile 25 as they diverted people away. “For about three hours I couldn’t find him.
“We met at the hotel eventually and it was such a relief for both of us, he had no idea where I was.
“It will be very emotional going back to the starting line.
“Last year was meant to be our first marathon together and that didn’t happen, so for us it is about completing unfinished business.
Anthony, an architecture student at Sheffield Hallam University, was working in Boston for a year when the attack happened.
His dad also moved to the city from Sheffield 13 years ago.
Suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev – who were arrested after a dramatic manhunt – are to stand trial later this year.
Anthony, who has also attended this week’s memorial events in Boston, said: “They have been very touching events, to see the survivors there as well.
“Everyone is looking forward to Monday so they can remember those who were lost and also look forward to holding the marathon again.
“The city will never forget what happened last year but it’s made it strong to carry on and come back.”