The Boston Bombings – a story of triumph over evil: Trinidad and Tobago national, Christopher Battoo relives the moment
The Boston bombing was a story of despair and hope for many.
Christopher Battoo is entering the Boston Marathon this Monday, for the fifth year, a braver runner – since the bombing that traumatized many back in April, 2013.
Battoo told Los Angeles Post-Examiner, the frightening explosions of April 14th, 2013 – haunted him for the next three years.
“I think I have overcome the fear … um, I would say, 2014, 15, 16 and 17 I was still hurt … I think now I’ve over grown it, I feel so confident that even yesterday I was at the bombing sight with my friends and I felt very strong, very confident and not to have fear, you know …”
Batto however, is going into Monday’s race (April 17, 2017) with the scared memory of his dear friend, Rebekah Gregory, who he said lost a limb in the 2013 incident that shook the confidence out of many athletes approaching the finish line at that time; but no doubt has made Rebecca a change agent for many.
Battoo reports that Rebekah just had a baby and wrote a book titled: Taking My Life Back to the Finish Line.
“They amputated her leg two years ago, but now she seem very good, she is dancing, she is happy,” and actually, like a true paralympian, Rebekah ran 5 miles in a race in 2016 according to Battoo, but has taken a break since conceiving a child.
The only bang expected in today’s race is the starter’s gun. Security concerns are at a minimum in Battoo’s mind as his confidence has increased in the Boston police and its Mayor; who he said has successfully tightened security measures in the ensuing years.
“We’re not allowed to carry bags, just our clothes and our electrolytes for security, actually the news was talking about having drones at the event … that’s a new thing they’re doing this year, having drones.”
Saturday, April 15th was the anniversary of the bombing and Battoo said it was a very emotional day for people on his team, as some of his friends remain traumatized over the 2013 bang that still threatens to cramp their style to this day.
Battoo is a faster runner today he said. Competing in four marathons last year — 2016 — winning one of them, placing second in another; he knows that makes him a top runner by his homeland standards. He intends to put that to the test in the coming years, assuring that he will return to Trinidad and Tobago in the next few years to compete in the country’s marathon event.
He can run a 2:38, which he explained places him in the top 200 for the Boston Marathon. The fastest time in the Trinidad and Tobago marathon for what he remembers is 2:42, ran by Curtis Cox.
He’s heeded the advice of coaches in Trinidad like Tony and Raymond, whom he keeps in touch with from time to time.
Track Batto’s running in today’s race.
Christopher Battoo bib number 334 wave 1 corral 1 lives in Boston MA
Three other Trinidad and Tobago nationals, Caldron Loren, Joanna Rostant and Nichola Forester will also be running in today’s Boston marathon.
Track their bib numbers
Caldron Loren bib number 19541 wave 3 corral 4 citizen Trinidad lives in Queens NY; Joanna Rostant bib number 20784 wave 3 corral 5 from Diego Martin Trinidad; Nichola Forester from Trinidad also lives in Boston, bib 28385 wave 5 corral 5.
Reach out to Battoo on his Facebook page.
And finally: “We ask people to just pray for us” Battoo pleads as he expects today’s race to still be traumatic for many, runners and spectators alike.
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were spotted and Dzhokbar was killed by law enforcement.
Photos provided by Marcia Braveboy unless otherwise noted
Top photo: Christopher Battoo during the 2013 Boston Marathon