Runners gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday. *AFP photo
Runners gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday. *AFP photo

There will be a minute’s silence at the May 24 start line in memory of those killed and injured at the Boston Marathon, a leading organizer told the Bermuda Sun.

Dr Gina Tucker, President of the Appleby Bermuda  Half Marathon Derby Organizing Committee, said Monday’s explosions, which have left three confirmed dead and at least 150 injured, 17 critically, was “beyond comprehension”.

Dr Tucker admitted she was lost for words as she drew comparisons to Boston’s big day and the similar “innocent” community feel — albeit on a smaller scale — of Bermuda Day.

She said this year’s race will be run very much with Boston in the runners’ and organizers’ thoughts.

She said: “I am sure Boston will be on people’s minds. I’ve decided we will have a minute’s silence, a quiet reflection to recognize those who lost their lives and those who were injured.”

She added: “It’s really beyond belief, beyond comprehension. It’s so saddening. I feel for everyone who has been affected in some way, some physically, some psychologically, I don’t like to think…

“Terrorism is such a terrifying concept – it tries to paralyze people. I feel speechless. I am looking forward to another beautiful day on May 24 but I am so very, very saddened by this tragedy.”

Sixteen runners from the island were caught up in the attack, with all confirmed safe late on Monday. 

They included elite runner Chris Estwanik — who finished 21st and broke the island’s marathon record in a time of two hours 19 minutes 55 seconds, an achievement that, as he himself admitted, was a hollow one.

Other runners included Chris’ wife Ashley,  Rose-Anna Hoey and Validus Running of the Bull race organiser Candace Roach.

For Bermuda, where running is such a hugely-popular sport and a big part of community life, the attack on such an event will hit home.

Dr Tucker said: “This sport is there for enjoyment. 

“I just think it’s really sickening this event has been targeted when so many people are sitting out enjoying their day.

“It’s so similar to our day. It was their Patriots Day, we have Bermuda Day — I feel for everybody, I feel for the world, I feel for humanity.”

She added: “It’s not just about the elite runners. You have people doing it because it’s a great thing to do, a great accomplishment, it’s for the larger community, it’s everyone’s day and to have it tarnished this way is incomprehensible.”