Richard: "I immediately figured it was an attack and I moved forward and helped remove the barricades." Image taken April 16.
Image by Brandon Stanton courtesy Humans of New York, SOURCE
"I was standing near the scissors lift you can see right next to the blast area. That is used for our speakers." Richard in the image.
courtesy Richard Laronde, SOURCE
Eyewitness: Adventurer in Boston bomb blast

Posted: Apr 17, 2013 01:15 pm EDT
(Newsdesk) "The blast was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I could feel it more than hear it," said Richard Laronde to ExplorersWeb the day after two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. He stood about 50 meters from the first bomb and realized, "Someone was actually trying to kill me and the next bomb could be anywhere."

Richard has been on the Boston Marathon race committee since 1983. His event managing company does the technical support, sound, audio-visual and timing for the race. He and his wife, Barbara, were about 50 feet from the first blast. "Thankfully we, and all my employees, are doing okay, physically," said a shocked Laronde.

He talked to ExWeb's Correne Coetzer, who met him at the South Pole in January 2007 upon his arrival at the Pole after skiing the Last Degree with guide David Hamilton, currently guiding a team on Everest.

"I grew up in Boston just walking distance from the marathon route. My mother would bring me to watch the race in a carriage when I was a baby and we continued that tradition until I went off to college. The marathon is held on Patriots Day in Massachusetts; a holiday commemorating the first battle of the American Revolution. There is no school on this holiday and many businesses are closed. "

"Being in the event business, I started working on the marathon after college in 1976. I became a member of the BAA Race Committee in 1983. My contribution is in sound, audio/visual, electrical power and event timing."

"On Monday I was waiting at the finish line to congratulate two of my son's middle school teachers that were in the race. I was standing near the scissors lift you can see right next to the blast area. That is used for our speakers. The blast was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I could feel it more than hear it."

"I immediately figured it was an attack and I moved forward and helped remove the barricades. You may have seen that on a video. The second blast really scared me. Someone was actually trying to kill me and the next bomb could be anywhere."

"My wife ran to a restaurant about 10 blocks away where I met up with her hours later."




Richard has also skied the Last Degree (110km) to the North Pole and had been to Mount Vinson. HIs next adventure is booked: a space flight. "The Virgin Galactic Spacecraft "Enterprise" will be starting the powered flight part of her testing within the next weeks. With a little luck I may be able to fly in a year," he says to ExplorersWeb.

Richard's website


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