Bay Area runners remember Boston bombings after verdict read

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On the day that Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty by a federal jury, Bay Area runners spoke with ABC7 News and recounted their memories of that fateful day. (KGO-TV)

On the day that Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty by a federal jury, Bay Area runners spoke with ABC7 News and recounted their memories of that fateful day.

Wednesday's verdict came after nearly 12 hours of deliberations. The 21-year-old was slumped in his chair as the jury's decision was read. They convicted him on all 30 charges, including "conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction." Seventeen of the counts carry the death penalty.

The trial now enters a penalty phase in which the jury will decide whether Tsarnaev should be put to death or kept in prison for life.

PHOTOS: The Boston Marathon Bombing

The 2013 marathon bombing claimed three lives and wounded 260 other people. The event, that draws runners from everywhere, had a sizeable Bay Area contingent in Boston that day.

Marin County resident Dean Karnazes is a man for whom the training never stops. How many other runners do you know who have finished marathons on all seven continents, two times over? Marathoning is a metaphor to him.

"I think it is kind of that conflicted challenge of running," he said. "It's the pain and the misery, but it's also the overcoming and the perseverance."

Usually, it is just the act of racing. Then, two years ago in Boston, an act of terror within that race. Had Karnazes not moved from the grandstand moments before that first bomb, he might have been another victim.

"You know it's wrong at a certain point, and no amount of influence can compel a person to do something like that unless you have evil in your soul," he said.

Memories of that evil bubbled back to the surface with Wednesday's verdicts, especially for those who saw the damage in close proximity.

VIDEO: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty in Boston bombings


At Crissy Field in San Francisco, ABC7 News found Stanford nurse Kristy Leborson, who helped with the triage.

"For probably about five or 10 minutes I was terrified thinking that there could be another bomb in front of the tent because the first bomb went off and about, I don't know, about 30 seconds later the second bomb went off," she said.

For both runners, Wednesday's verdicts provide relief of sorts. Tsarnaev now faces 17 possible death sentences for 4 murders and 250 injuries in an act of terror.

"I kinda hope that he just sits in a cell for the rest of his life and has to think about it," Leborson said. "All the pain and suffering he caused."

Karnazes added, "I am very good at forgiving, but I have to say this is one instance where I can't forgive. I cannot, I just cannot accept and forgive what happened." When asked why, he said, "It's too personal."

And for everyone who lived that, it's still complicated.

Those injured in the marathon bombing include Martinez resident Aaron Hern, who was just 12 years old at the time. He was at the finish line watching his mom complete her first Boston Marathon, when he was hit by shrapnel by the blast. ABC7 News reached out to the family on Wednesday. Aaron is on spring break with his family, and they were unable to comment on the verdict.

Related Topics:
trialu.s. & worldbombingboston bombingboston bombingsboston marathonboston marathon bombingboston marathon explosionscourtcourt caserunningmarathonsMassachusettsSan FranciscoCrissy FIeldMarin
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