Local Couple Returns From Boston Marathon - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Couple Returns From Boston Marathon

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Any runner will tell you qualifying for the Boston Marathon is an honor.

"Getting to go to Boston- it's magical," said Schmidt. "It's every runner's dream. I qualified in Chicago last year. I was excited, and I cried for weeks because I had qualified."

Not only did Vicki Schmidt qualify, she was 400 meters from crossing the finish line Monday afternoon.

Schmidt's boyfriend 59-year-old Phil Kirkpatrick, like many supporters, waited at the end.

"I had my iPhone, and I was really trying to focus because you can miss a person if you aren't really paying attention, so I was looking for what she was wearing," said Kirkpatrick. However, it wasn't his girlfriend who met him there.

"All of a sudden, there was the loudest boom and spontaneous white light, a fireball right at our feet and immediately both ears were ringing so loud I couldn't hear," said Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick was one of the dozens injured in the Boston bombings. The blasts ruptured his eardrum as he was waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line.

Kirkpatrick said he was just 10 feet from that first blast. He thought it was a firecracker at first, but he quickly realized he and all those around him were under attack.

Kirkpatrick wore his UT Vols shirt that day so Schmidt might spot him, instead others around the world saw him across their television screens as the horror in Boston unfolded.

It's a scene that kept Schmidt from crossing the finish, but not one that will stop her from trying again.

"I will go back, and I'll do it for runners in the world and all those people that lost their lives, for the country," said Schmidt.

As an attorney in the music industry, Kirkpatrick is hoping to get the hearing back in his right ear. He is expected to heal.

As for Schmidt, she will be running in the Country Music Marathon next week. She is a Nashville Strider's Pacer for the half marathon.

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5JanetKim
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_JanetKim

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