New­found­lan­ders join in show of strength in Bos­ton

The Southern Gazette - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT TC ME­DIA

At least two New­found­lan­ders, with two very dif­fer­ent means of mo­ti­va­tion, were among the 30,000-plus who fin­ished the Bos­ton Marathon April 21.

Dean Si­mon of Flat Bay, on the prov­ince’s west coast, crossed the fin­ish line in 3:54.40. His buddy, Trent Bur­den of Steady Brook, out­side Cor­ner Brook, felt like a “rock star” early Mon­day evening, bask­ing in the glory of his time of 2:58.42, the first time he cracked the three-hour mark.

For Si­mon, run­ning the 2014 Bos­ton Marathon meant tak­ing care of some un­fin­ished busi­ness. For Bur­den, it was about giv­ing the one-fin­ger salute to those who de­railed the famed race last year.

Si­mon en­tered last year’s race and was about a kilo­me­tre from the fin­ish line when the bombs went off. Race of­fi­cials soon filed on to the course, stop­ping run­ners short of the Boyl­ston St. fin­ish line.

“At first, I thought it was a car­diac event on the course, but then cell phones start­ing ring­ing all over the place. People were get­ting all kinds of in­for­ma­tion - some of it in­cor­rect it turns out - and things turned quite chaotic.

“Some people were say­ing as many as 20 or 30 people were dead. Some run­ners who weren’t car­ry­ing cell phones were quite up­set.”

Si­mon, who is study­ing hu­man nu­tri­tion at St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity, had a tough se­mes­ter from an aca­demic stand­point, so he didn’t get in the re­quired train­ing for the marathon.

Nonethe­less, he said, this was one event he wasn’t go­ing to miss.

“I didn’t have any carved-in-stone goals be­cause my train­ing suf­fered this year.

“But this was some­thing I had to do. There was no ques­tion about that. I had to be in Bos­ton this year.”

As for Bur­den, this is his sec­ond Bos­ton Marathon, af­ter run­ning the 2011 race. He’s also run the Ot­tawa Marathon twice and events in the Cay­man Is­lands and New Glas­gow, N.S.

Bur­den hadn’t planned on run­ning Bos­ton un­til he watched the aftermath of last year’s race, and the man­hunt to cap­ture the sus­pected bombers, broth­ers Tamer­lan and Dzhok­tar Tsar­naev.

“I saw those two bas­tards on TV, and when the po­lice hunted them down, I re­mem­ber say­ing, ‘I’ve got to be there next year. I’ve got to do that race again.’

“I was telling people, ‘It’s al­most like stick­ing your mid­dle fin­ger up to those people.’”

Both run­ners re­ported very tight se­cu­rity in and around Bos­ton, es­pe­cially dur­ing the race.

“If you were car­ry­ing a back­pack in town,” Si­mon said, “it felt like there were eyes on you.”

The sus­pected bombers are said to have stuffed home­made bombs in back­packs, which they left near the fin­ish line last year.

“The sup­port of the people of Bos­ton was in­cred­i­ble,” Si­mon said. “The crowd sup­port along the course, es­pe­cially the last two or three kilo­me­ters, was un­be­liev­able.

“I don’t see how any­one could not fin­ish with that kind of sup­port be­hind you.”

St. John’s Tele­gram

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