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Bombing survivors complete Boston Marathon

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Boston Marathon bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Adrianne Haslet, who both lost their leg in the attack three years ago, completed the Marathon on Monday, three years after the explosions near the Boylston Street finish line.

“He’s our superhero so we dress like superheroes”, said Robert, referring to her husband, Jocelyn, who was running his first Boston Marathon. Terror and bombs can’t beat us. Neely Spence Gracey, of Superior, Colorado, was the first American woman to finish, and she came in ninth.

Haslet, 35, was a professional ballroom dancer who received a prosthetic blade to do the quickstep and the jive, and only then chose to take up running.

“I ran with the city in my heart – Martin, Sean, Lingzi, Krystle”, Downes, who finished in 5 hours, 56 minutes and 46 seconds, told CBS Boston, naming the people who died in the bombings.

Ethiopia had a banner day at the Boston Marathon on Monday, as Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa won the men’s and women’s titles. Tiki Gelana, the 2012 Olympics gold medalist, and fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba also are in the hunt.

Downes, a Boston College grad, lost one leg in the attacks and his wife Jess lost both.

Ms Haslet overcame a hip flexor injury while training; running with the blade also requires extra energy, because one leg is slightly longer than the other.

American Tatyana McFadden won the women’s wheelchair division for the fourth consecutive year, while Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair race, defending his 2015 title. They include Desi Linden, who was fourth a year ago, and Shalane Flanagan, who was ninth. She’s setting out to show the world that “cowards” can’t win.

How very cool of an experience for Haslet and for all the other folks who proudly participated in the race. They’re being guided by able-bodied runners accompanying them along the 26.2-mile course.

But in a way, she has been a marathoner all her life. The U.S. Olympic marathon trials were in February in Los Angeles.

Clutching the hands of supporters who ran with her, and who wore shirts that said #Adrianne Strong, Haslet-Davis grew emotional as she paused in front of the finish line for a moment, surrounded by family, friends, race officials, and a crush of television cameras. Her left leg became swollen in the seventh mile and she needed to be treated inside a medical tent for about an hour, per the Boston Globe.

Darrin Jackson

The author Darrin Jackson

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