HUDDERSFIELD runners, including Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, have vowed to go ahead with Sunday’s London Marathon in solidarity with those injured in the Boston terror attacks.
Three people died and more than 150 were injured when two bombs exploded within seconds of each other at the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon race on Monday.
The investigation into the Boston bombings is in full swing with a police raid on a private home and an appeal for any video, audio or still images of the blasts.
The FBI said no-one had claimed responsibility and president Barack Obama was careful not to use the words “terror” or “terrorism”, but one White House official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.
Mr McCartney told the Examiner: “It’s really important that we show the evil people, whoever they are, who have done these despicable acts, that life goes on and thousands of people will continue to race and many more turn out to support them.”
Sports minister Hugh Robertson announced within hours of the two large explosions in Boston the London Marathon would go ahead with tightened security.
And social media suggests runners will don black armbands or ribbons in memory of those killed or injured – 19 people remain critically injured in hospital. In all, 170 were hurt.
Mr McCartney is running his first marathon for The Forget Me Not Hospice, in Brackenhall, and said he has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people.
He added: “The marathon movement around the world has evolved and runners are raising millions for charity and this will not be stopped by evil acts.
“Security will obviously be heightened, but London has already proved itself at staging major sporting events, like the Olympics last summer.”
Meltham marathon runner Simon Edwards, 38, took part in the Paris Marathon race two weeks ago and is also doing the London event after securing a place with Holmfirth Harriers.
Simon said: “I will be running as normal. There are nine of us going from the club. I think to not run is to let those who cause acts such as this win.
“It is unnerving though, especially as I ran the Paris marathon at exactly the same time as the bomb went off in Boston, 4 hours 10.
“It does bring it home to you, particularly for family who are watching you and waiting to know you are safe.”
Gabriella Granata, 20, of Birkby is running the marathon for the first time.
She said: “Seeing what has happened in Boston has not made me question doing the marathon, but it has made me think about my family and friends coming to cheer me on.
“I don’t want to worry about them being in the crowd. I just want to focus on the race and then I can meet them after.”
Runners from West Yorkshire have spoken of their experiences of being caught up in the Boston race.
Jez Hughes, a firefighter from Morley, was walking to the subway with his wife when they heard two explosions.
He had been standing only 100 yards from the finish line with other competitors after completing his 10th marathon, but walked around the corner to meet his wife.
Mr Hughes, who was running for The Fire Fighters Charity, said: “While we were going to the subway we heard two explosions. I said straight away that sounds like a bomb and then we heard a second one.”
Last year some 37,000 completed the London Marathon, which starts in Blackheath and finishes near Buckingham Palace.