Boston bombs won’t deter runners

Belinda McDevitt Bronson (below) was at work near the blast site when the bombs went off during the Boston Marathon.
Belinda McDevitt Bronson (below) was at work near the blast site when the bombs went off during the Boston Marathon.

DEDICATED runners in Hartlepool have vowed not to let Boston’s devastating double bomb blast put them off competing in this weekend’s London Marathon.

Three people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed and more than 144 wounded, with many having their legs blown off, when Monday’s Boston Marathon was targeted.

Lee Dodgson

Lee Dodgson

Organisers of the London Marathon – the biggest in the world – were quick to react to the carnage in Boston, saying they will review but not cancel Sunday’s race in the capital.

And two runners from Hartlepool, both who are competing in the marathon this weekend for charity, said they haven’t even contemplated not taking part.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harrier Julie McGrath, 53, from Seaton Carew, said: “It was so sad and sickening to see what was happening in Boston.

“I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be there.

“But if anything it has made me even more determined to complete the London race on Sunday.”

Julie’s determination was echoed by 27-year-old Lee Dodgson, who is running the marathon to raise cash for Hartlepool & District Hospice.

Lee, 27, a firefighter who lives in Ryehill Gardens with wife, Claire, 36, and his step-son Aaron Flounders, 13, said: “I won’t let what has happened in Boston put me off.

“To be honest, if you live life like that you wouldn’t do anything.

“I think with the race on Sunday and with Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, London is going to be packed out with security.

“We just need to hope something awful like that doesn’t happen again.”

Julie admits to being “gobsmacked” when she saw what had happened in Boston on Monday, which was Patriots’ Day in the US, a public holiday marking the first battles of the American War of Independence.

The mum-of-two, who lives with husband, Ian, 57, a car salesman, is running her second marathon this weekend in support of Multiple Sclerosis support groups in Hartlepool and Easington.

“To think of the innocent runners and families who lost their lives or were injured in Boston is awful,” she added.

“But I’m glad the organisers of the London Marathon haven’t cancelled the race.”

l To donate and support Julie’s fundraising efforts email

To support Lee, who is hoping to raise more than £4,000 for the hospice, visit

l Mail view: Page 8