Marathon runner keen to honour victims of Boston bombings
IPSWICH'S leading marathon runner Matt Casos went for a jog as he tried to understand what happened in Boston on Tuesday morning.
Yesterday, he was still coming to terms with how 27,000 runners and close to a million spectators could be targeted in such a tragedy.
Having competed at other world famous marathons in New York (2011) and Tokyo this year, Casos could visualise what it would be like running towards the finish line when two bombs exploded.
"Yesterday was probably one of the lowest or saddest days I've had in my 24 years of running," Casos said.
"It was very very upsetting to see what eventuated. It really rocked me.
"As a runner you know what mayhem would have been out there.
"You feel for all the runners that were over there and all their friends and families that were supporting them."
However, the Ipswich runner and coach has vowed to race on in major events and rally as much support as he can to ensure marathons remain popular.
"It would be wonderful to do a London or a Boston to add to my Tokyo and New York (marathons)," Casos, 35, said.
"It's probably moreso in my mind that maybe one day I would like to do that as a sign of paying tribute to what happened.
"They are world famous events and they really need to go on, and they really inspire a lot of people.
"I have no doubt a lot of people will bond together and will want to do Gold Coast and Melbourne (marathons) and lots of other fun runs now as a sign of support."
Tokyo was the sixth marathon Casos had contested since starting the gruelling 42km events in 2003.
He's still planning to run the Melbourne Marathon in October and the annual City to Surf in Sydney.
Casos had sat up into the early hours of the morning watching the Boston Marathon on TV.
He went to bed about 2.30am after the elite runners had finished. His partner Laurelle woke him at 6am with news of the horrific happenings.
"We just couldn't believe it," Casos said, having recently returned home after competing in the Tokyo Marathon.
That event attracted 36,000 runners, being rated alongside Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin as among the world's biggest marathons.
Casos said about 27,000 runners competed in Boston.
"My immediate thought was just utter sadness to not only those people that were injured but also the 9000 runners afterwards that weren't able to complete the race," he said.
"They had run 41km or less and they had their own goals.
"As a marathon runner it was an extremely upsetting day.
"In the marathon running circles, it's touched the entire world really."
The My Fun Club coach is supporting other Ipswich-based athletes including Paul Shard, Stephen O'Brien and Clay Dawson.
They are looking at competing in the marathon or half marathon on the Gold Coast in July.
Casos said those responsible for the bombings should not be allowed to ruin a great sport for competitive people and those who run for fun.
"What I've spoken to my runners about and people close to me is that you've just got to be able to get out there and support local runs and events," he said.
"We really don't want these events to fade away or to be less significant." Matt's motto
As much as terrorist attacks are a sad reality around the world, Ipswich athlete Matt Casos said it shouldn't deter sportspeople doing what they love.
"In something like this, you have to rally around people and you've got to show they're supported," he said.
"Yesterday (Tuesday) it happened to my sport and I just hope it doesn't happen at a Superbowl or an AFL grand final or Melbourne Cup.
"You cannot live your life by ducking and weaving. You have got to get out there on the front foot and just keep battling on."