Marathon runner - Boston bomb ‘like something out the movies’

Debbie Powell

Debbie Powell - Credit: supplied

A RUNNER from Clevedon has told of the ‘awful’ scenes she witnessed following last week’s bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Debbie Powell was one of more than 23,000 people taking part in the annual event on April 15 when two bombs exploded near to the finish line.

The 42-year-old had already completed the course at that time but had gone to the medical tent just five metres from the finish line as she felt unwell.

While she was there the bombs went off. Three people died and more than 170 were injured, at least 17 critically.

Debbie, a mother-of-three, said: “The first explosion was extremely loud. I knew it was a bomb.


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Seconds later the second explosion happened. I looked at the medics for some words of encouragement but no-one knew what it was.

“Absolutely nothing I experienced can compare to what the victims went through, but it was the only time in my life I thought I was going to die or at least get injured from a third blast that, thank God, never came.

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“Within minutes we heard sirens from the police, fire and ambulances racing to the scene and then moments later the casualties started pouring through into the medical tent.

“I discharged myself from the bed as it was apparent they needed as much space as possible.

“The scenes of those poor, innocent spectators who were stood at the finishing line to applaud their loved ones as they crossed the line now being stretchered in, covered in blood, was something that I have only seen on the news or at the movies. It was just awful.”

Debbie, who grew up in Clevedon and attended All Saints Primary School and the town’s secondary school, eventually made it back to her hotel later that day, where her family was waiting.

She said: “My husband Nick and children had already tracked my run and knew I had finished but it was well over an hour since finishing and I had not called home due to the fact of being in the medical tent.

“Nick knew this was where I would probably be and of course this made it worse for him as he knew the medical tent was at the finish line.

“Eventually, when I did return to the hotel, I was able to let him know that I was ok - I was shocked and upset, but ok.”

Debbie, whose parents Geoff and Bina Bryant live in Clevedon, was one of a number of runners taking part in the marathon who live in Dubai. She moved to the country nine years ago where she runs a relocation business.

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