by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ROSWELL, Ga. - A Roswell teen who ran in the Boston Marathon tells Channel 2 Action News he’s thankful he left the area when he did, moments before the bombs went off.
Alec Blenis, 18, was the youngest Georgian to run in the race. Blenis, a Roswell High School graduate, told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik he finished the race more than an hour before the attacks, but that he hung around the finish line to watch his friends.
“Based on some text messages I got, I know I was still in Boston near the finish line about 2:40, so I was there right up until the explosions happened,” said Blenis.
The Georgia Tech freshman told Petchenik he and his father were on a train to the airport for an early flight when the attack happened.
“After I made it through airport security people started asking me, ‘Hey, are you OK, did you hear what happened?’” said Blenis. “I had no idea what they were talking about.”
Blenis said he watched the horror unfold on television at the airport with dozens of others, thankful he had gotten out when he did. Blenis showed Petchenik Facebook posts from friends checking to see if he was OK.
“I’m very thankful,” he said. “I had tons of friends checking on me, calling me, leaving me messages.”
Blenis told Petchenik he has no trepidation about running in next year’s race or in the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta this summer.
“Safety at an event of that magnitude is a big concern, but you know we can’t live in fear,” he said. “We have to keep doing what we want to do or we let the other guys win.”