Singapore's Blade Runner returns from Boston Marathon
Photo: Leong Wai Kit
A Singaporean marathoner-- better known by his moniker as the Blade Runner -- has returned to Singapore after participating in the Boston Marathon.
Mr Shariff Abdullah was about 800 metres away when the first blast went off.
Mr Shariff, who runs with a prosthetic blade, touched down at about 1.45 this morning where his family and friends welcomed him.
Recounting his experience, he told MediaCorp that he felt unwell as he approached the finishing line.
So he stopped for medical attention.
It was then when he heard the first blast go off.
"Boom! I thought it was fireworks, maybe it's a kind of celebration. And everybody thought it was a celebration or welcoming, you know. Then in a few more minutes, another one. Boom. And that's when everybody was telling an explosion, all kind of thing."
Mr Shariff said some of his friends were near the finishing line but he was unable to locate them as the police had blocked the area.
So he walked about five kilometres back to his hotel and tried contacting his friends.
It was only when he logged on to the internet that he realised the scale of the blast.
"I found that the first explosion happened at our national flag. Right in front of our national flag. I'm very worried, I'm thinking about my Singaporean fans, friends."
The journey home for Mr Shariff was not smooth.
He missed two flights -- one in Boston, the other Detroit.
But when he finally touched down, he said the feeling was better than crossing the finishing line at a marathon.
"When I was out of Customs, I can't express, I want to shout hey, I'm back home. But all the way in my mind, was the victims. I hope that the families will be strong and I'm glad in Singapore, I'm with my family, with my friends."
Mr Shariff said he received some 100 messages from friends and strangers, and that he's grateful for their support.
He added that this episode will not deter him from running marathons overseas.
" I was down in the airport, totally negative mindset came to me. Shariff you should retire, you should not do all these runs, but after sit back, I'm always think positive. I said, no, I will come back and run. I will still keep on. My journey is to inspire everyone. If I can run, everybody they can do so much better. If there is a fund in future, I will come to complete my Boston Marathon."
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