Twin Cities marathoner thankful after 2nd terror in 3 years - KMSP-TV

Twin Cities marathoner thankful after 2nd terror in 3 years

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  • Minnesota runners hope to return to Boston Marathon

    Minnesota runners hope to return to Boston Marathon

    Tuesday, April 16 2013 3:42 PM EDT2013-04-16 19:42:52 GMT
    More than 500 Minnesotans were registered to run the Boston Marathon, and of course there were family and friends who'd gone out there to spectate as well.
    More than 500 Minnesotans were registered to run the Boston Marathon, and of course there were family and friends who'd gone out there to spectate as well.

One metro marathon runner has now survived two close calls while running in just the past three years, but he says these traumatic experiences have taught him to be thankful.

As someone who has spent nearly 30 years running, Bill Langevin's medals from the Boston Marathon are his pride and joy.

"I look at them every day," he told FOX 9 News. "In 1984, I ran Boston in 2 hours, 54 minutes."

As he aged, each race against the clock took a little longer, but he never imagined this year's time might make the difference between life and death.

"I was hoping to get under four hours," Langevin said. "It was a bad day."

On Monday, Langevin said he wasn't feeling his stride and was a few minutes behind his desired pace, hitting the last quarter mile on Boylston Street at the 4:09 mark of the race. Suddenly, he saw his goal change.

"As I'm turning the corner, we hear two loud explosions -- initially thought it was canon fire," Langevin recalled. "There [were] people all over the area just crying -- civilians crying, runners crying."

Race officials and police diverted Langevin and all the runners behind him off the course while emergency responders rushed to tend to the victims near the finish line.

"There are people sitting on side streets, their legs are all cut up, lacerations on arms and faces," Langevin recalled.

Just a few minutes may not seem like a lot when talking about a 26.2-mile race, but Langevin says he is grateful for them in hindsight.

"Another three minutes and I would have been right where the blast went off," he said.

Incredibly, the Boston Marathon bombing was not Langevin's closest call with danger and death while out running.

"The Good Lord has guided me. This is the second terrorist incident in three years," Langevin told FOX 9 News.

On May 1, 2010, Langevin was jogging through his east metro neighborhood when he watched two men ambush Maplewood Police Sgt. Joe Bergeron along the Bruce Vento Trail. He estimates that he was about 200 feet away from what he called a cold-blooded execution and ran to the officers aide.

The gunmen fled, sparing Langevin his life, and the 64-year-old said he uses it to honor Bergeron in everything he does.

"It's just something -- it's the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. So senseless," Langevin recalled. "I think maybe he was with me yesterday."

Langevin says his guardian angel protected him and his wife what was supposed to be a celebration of 27 consecutive years of conquering the ultimate marathon.

"Just so sad that the whole day was ruined by a coward," he lamented.

Langevin and his wife told FOX 9 News they will not allow Monday's attack to ever deter them from returning to Boston. In fact, Langevin already qualified for next year's race and he will be making his hotel reservation in the next day or so.

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