Avid Lufkin marathon runners react to Boston Marathon tragedy

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Marathon runners are part of a tight-knit community and as word of the tragedy reached East Texas, runners were shocked by the news.

Lufkin neurosurgeon and marathon runner, Dr. Stig Peitersen, said "I had knee surgery last year. Otherwise I may have been there [Boston]."

Peitersen has run the Boston Marathon three times but a knee injury prevented him from going this year.

"I guess this is the first time I'm actually thankful for having a bad knee,"said Peitersen.

Peitersen ran the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2007, then again in 2009 and 2010.

"It was I mean that was the finishing, so close to the finish line and you're you can see the finish line from where this happened. Where both bombs went off," said Peitersen.

Peitersen says what happened in Boston is a tragedy not only for the running community but for the nation and it only makes him and other runners more passionate about hitting the pavement.

12 time marathon finisher, Edwin Quarles said, "Right there, reaching a goal and something like that happened and just so surreal,scary, frightening, just all kinds of emotions came to mind. I just can't imagine going through something like that."

When KTRE asked Quarles if the recent tragedy makes him nervous about running his next marathon he said it was a good question.

"I don't know if it really  makes you nervous to run another one because it's one of those things that you thin, oh it happened once it won't happen again kind-of-thing but you never know," said Quarles. "I know if I do another one it would definitely be in the back of my mind."

Diboll High School, Cross Country Coach, Scott Schochler qualified for the Boston Marathon three times but hasn't made it yet.

"For the running community it kind of shakes things up because this has never, nothing like this has ever happened before,"said Schochler.

Schochler says he still hopes to cross the finish line in Boston some day.

"The human tragedy is great and as a runner to see something like the Boston Marathon negatively affected is something that we hope that they can survive and continue to put on a world class event like that," said Schochler.

the Lufkin Area Pace Setters (LAPS) is hosting a "Run For Boston" Wednesday on behalf of those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Runners will meet in the Crown Colony Country Club parking lot at 6:00 P.M.

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