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T&T’s ‘Boston man’ set for NJ marathon (with CNC3 video)
At least one of the T&T-born competitors in Monday’s Boston marathon has not been discouraged and is getting ready for another one in a few weeks. T&T-born fitness professional Marlon Bascombe, who was not injured in the Boston blasts, said he was undeterred and is gearing up for the New Jersey marathon over the May 3 to 5 weekend. He tweeted on social media sites yesterday: “Up next, New Jersey marathon. I will not be stopped.”
Soon after the Boston blast on Monday — killing three and injuring over 170 — Bascombe assured friends he was safe and unharmed. Thanking God for being safe, he described the bombings as “scary stuff.” T&T ambassador to the US, Dr Neil Parsan, said yesterday he had spoken to Bascombe who is based in Brooklyn. He said Bascombe, who had left the race area safely, had gotten back to his Brooklyn home around 4 am yesterday due to the logistical issues arising from the explosions.
Parsan said other T&T-born runners — TSTT employee Learie Lezama, of St James, and Christopher Battoo, now based in Brookline, Massachusetts — had crossed the finish line before the explosions. Parsan said he had received information that the fourth T&T runner, Ingrid Mathison, 50, did not complete Monday’s race. She is based at West Hampstead.
Parsan added: “She may have dropped out or just did not cross the finish line. “Our T&T community in Boston has confirmed that all members there are accounted for and safe. We’re still liaising with the US State Department on the nationalities of those killed and wounded.”
Yesterday, Battoo, originally from south Trinidad, was reassuring Facebook friends he was safe. Several of them had expressed concern after the explosions and were seeking him on Tuesday evening. Battoo said on Facebook yesterday he had completed the race and he and others had been under protective “lockdown” by security forces after the explosions. He said they had been quartered at Boston’s Prudential Centre Weston Hotel.
He said the explosions happened before the marathon’s finish line. Calling for people not to forget Boston residents, Battoo added: “Hearts are broken but their souls are strong. We need your prayers.” Battoo, who was in the RFR Liver Team, completed the race in three hours, 41 minutes and 19 seconds. His Facebook friends were expressing great relief yesterday after he finally emerged online.
Meanwhile, Learie Lezama, who also tweeted on social media sites he was unharmed, is spending some time with his family in New York before returning home by weekend, according to T&T Road Runners Club past president Denise Demming. Lezama is an executive member of the club, founded by businessman Anthony Salloum in 1984. On the club’s sites, Lezama had expressed interest in competing in race events in Chicago, Berlin and London, as well as Boston.
Following Monday’s bombings, however, Lezama is unlikely to be competing in the London marathon which takes place next weekend. But Demming said that would only be because Lezama is not the sort of person who did back-to-back marathons. “He’s a very measured kind of runner. It’s very unlikely he will run two marathons within days of each other,” she added.
Demming said she had tracked Lezama’s progress in the race on-line and judging from his finishing time, little over three hours, he was not near the blasts. She added: “It occurred a while after he finished so I was confident he would not have been harmed but our nickname for him is ‘Saddam’. He can survive anything.” Lezama’s son, Qasim, who is with his father in Boston, has also assured his father was fine. Demming said Lezama and his son were leaving Boston for New York yesterday to spend time with family.