NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) — There were applause and tears Saturday as survivor Jeff Bauman finished his first road race since losing both legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Bauman participated in the Runner’s World Classic Celebrity Mile at Merrimack College Saturday morning. Bauman walked the full mile with a cane in hand.
“I really don’t think about the past too much. I try to stay in the present and the support here is amazing and people want to see me up and walking with my prosthetics,” Bauman said.
“My legs are sore, but I feel great,” he added.
More than 2,600 runners participated in the 10K race at Merrimack College, supporting more than 19 charities, in the weekend long festival.
“Running has always been a place for people to come together to do good and this race is another example of that. This is a sign of strength,” Runners World Editor and Chief Dave Willey said.
With all the violence going on in the world, Bauman said he’s proud to be part of this event.
“Unfortunately there’s a lot of violence in the world. And fear sparks anger and its scary but we can’t live in fear. You have to focus on your emotions and positivity,” Bauman said.
What made this race even more special was when Bauman pushed a wheelchair-bound Carlos Arredondo across the finish line.
It was a flashback to the marathon bombings, when Arredondo pushed Bauman in a wheelchair to get medical care.
Bauman said he was amazed at the amount of support he received during the race. All the celebrity runners started and ended together, crossing the finish line behind Bauman.
“I can’t believe after the first lap everyone walked behind me,” said Bauman. “That meant a lot, to have everyone with me and Carlos.”
The Celebrity Mile also included Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslett and Bill Richard, father of youngest marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, along with Carlos Arredando, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, and WBZ Chief meteorologist Eric Fisher.
“These people are such inspiration,” Fisher said. “What they’ve gone through something so traumatic and they are throwing it back in the face of all that adversity and it’s great to see all the power and strength.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports