Bombing victims return to Boston to participate in marathon

Bombing victims return to Boston to participate in marathon (Image 1)

A local woman and her boyfriend are preparing to head back to Boston this weekend, one year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

Vicki Schmidt was just 400 yards away from the finish line and her boyfriend, Phil Kirkpatrick, was just 10 feet away when the deadly explosion occurred last April 15.

“There was a white flash of light and the loudest explosion I’ve heard. I’ve never heard anything like it,” recalled Kirkpatrick.

Schmidt said she, like all the other runners, immediately stopped in their tracks upon hearing the explosion.

“I heard what I thought was fireworks from the ball game. It was very loud,” she said.

Despite being just around the corner from Kirkpatrick, it took Schmidt more than two hours to be reunited with her loved one.

“I saw people lying in the street bleeding,” she said. “It really hit me [that] something really bad had happened.”

Kirkpatrick, an attorney for the music industry, said the blast was deafening and he immediately lost his hearing.

“It immediately shut my hearing down in both of my ears and threw me backward,” he said.

He still suffers from hearing loss in his ears.

Despite the shock and horror of last year’s marathon, the couple is headed back to compete in the race again.

“It’s just a chance, a once in a lifetime chance to do something smalls that’s really something big because Boston this year is going to be really big,” Kirkpatrick said.

Schmidt added, “It’ll be a good experience, a good, emotional healing experience for both of us,”

This year’s marathon will be held Monday, April 21.

Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to go to trial in November.

He is the lone surviving suspect in the case and remains in isolation in federal prison.

His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during the manhunt for the pair last April.

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