A Moorestown man who was supposed to run in the Boston Marathon, but pulled out late last week due to injury, said he was saddened after hearing about the explosions that have so far left three dead and more than 100 injured.
James Lavery Jr. had run in the Marathon three times before—2006, 2007 and 2012—and was set to run on Monday. He'd qualified, paid his entrance fee and booked his hotel. But a nerve problem in his leg sidelined him and he had to pull out on Thursday.
Lavery, 38, first learned about the tragedy—which authorities believe was intentional—when he arrived home after teaching at the Brain Balance Center, a school for special needs children in Mount Laurel.
Although Lavery typically clocks in at less than three hours for a marathon—well ahead of the time the blasts went off near the finish line—he said he planned to use the Boston Marathon as training for the Bob Potts Marathon in York, PA next month (which he also had to pull out of) and would likely have finished right around the time the bombs went off just before 3 p.m.
"My family would have been in the stands right there," he said. "I guess I'm lucky."
"It's horrible. It's just a shame," Lavery added.
Lavery was one of three Moorestonians listed as an entrant in the Boston Marathon. The other two were Terry McWilliams and Jim Price. Patch could not immediately get in touch with them.
Lavery said the tragedy wouldn't deter him from running in future high-profile races, and added that, as tragic as it is, he wasn't shocked something like this happened.
"It's unprotected, so to speak," said Lavery.