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Broadcaster Larry Rawson Reflects On Immediate Aftermath Of Boston Marathon Bombings

 BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A Boston police officer stands near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

One of television’s foremost track and field and marathon analysts for nearly 25 years is recalling the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings.

Larry Rawson was just down the road from the finish line, preparing to leave his hotel when the first of two blasts occurred. At that point in the race, he had completed his play by play coverage of the elite runners.

”I actually only heard one explosion, don’t ask me why. My first thought was a transformer blew up,” Rawson recalled as his stood in the hotel lobby. ”I looked around outside and there were people in the lobby. They cordon off the streets and there were people walking in the streets. And, at first, it seemed calm, people weren’t panicing,” Rawson said on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning.

But once he got outside he saw a woman weaving through the crowd and heard her mumble ‘gotta get outta here,’ he said.

”I go outside, I turn the corner and I see a woman and she says ‘Hi Larry’. It was a reporter from WBZ and I said ‘what happened?’. She said ‘I think it was a bomb but I don’t know.”’

Rawson then described how he left the area and got on his train to leave Boston, as planned and began receiving phone calls from ESPN to cover the event. However, that train was already in motion, leaving the city.

”At the end of the day, [I feel like] We’re gonna make this bigger and better.”

Recalling the morning, prior the race’s beginning: ”At 8:30 I stepped out of our announce booth which is 75 yards from where the bomb blast occurred. I looked down the straight away, and there were, in the distance, two or three black dogs checking the grand stand area, checking everything. I hear a voice behind me say ‘excuse me’…and I take a step back and the first thing to come through is another [bomb sniffing] dog,” Rawson said.

”I was impressed with the thoroughness.The precautions and preparations were there.”

When asked his thoughts on securing such a huge, outdoor course, Rawson agreed with Keeler that covering every inch of a 26 mile race is nearly impossible.

But said, ”There are ways you can step this up. They will come up with ways to make this more secure. They will have cameras all over the place. They will be combing these things. In New York its a major problem, probably bigger than Boston.”

”I get a little chocked up when I think about apiece I produced many years ago. I interviewed a man probably in his 40’s and he was with his son who was about seven years ago. He said what was special about the event was that his dad took him to this event, and now he was taking his son.”

”One thing that took my mind off of it, in times of strife, we American’s are wonderful with each other. We are the most giving country in the world as far as helping others, the money raised. Last year, the Boston Marathon raised over $15 million for charities. In New York, its even more because they have more participants.

”You take that giving nature of people, and we help each other to an amazing degree.

”We will recover. I’m interested to see the galvanizing attitude that will take over,” Rawson said.

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