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Runner, 78, Describes Being Near Finish Line During Boston Marathon Blasts

'Shock Waves Just Hit My Whole Body; My Legs Just Started Jittering Around'
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Bill Iffrig, 78, was a runner who runner who survived the Boston Marathon bombings. (credit: CBS 2 | Bill Iffrig)

Bill Iffrig, 78, was a runner who runner who survived the Boston Marathon bombings. (credit: CBS 2 )


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Marathon Bombings

BOSTON (CBSNewYork) — Life may never be the same for one Boston Marathon runner. He was right near the finish line when the bomb went off.

The 78-year-old man survived, despite being just a few feet from the first explosion.

As the first bomb exploded near the finish line, one runner could be seen on video falling to the ground as his legs became buckled by the blast.

That runner was Bill Iffrig.

“Shock waves just hit my whole body and my legs just started jittering around. I knew I was going down,” Iffrig said.

A veteran of 45 marathons, Iffrig was finishing the Boston Marathon for a third time.

“I was just approaching the last straightaway to the finish line and I’d had a good day and I was feeling really good,” he said.

He was fewer than 20 feet from the finish line when the explosion forced him down. Iffrig said his injuries were minor.

“Didn’t feel any severe pain, but as I rolled over, I seen a little scratch on my leg, but nothing too bad so I just laid there momentarily,” he said.

Iffrig was immediately surrounded by first responders, and then helped up by marathon officials.

As the wounded were taken away from the scene, Iffrig was able to walk another half mile to meet his wife, who was frantically looking for him and that was right after he crossed the finish line.

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