Skip to main content
Advertising

Picture This

Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

April 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

"I thought, 'this is probably it for me.'"


VIDEO VIA BOSTON.COM

Bill Iffrig, 78, a member of Club Northwest seen at 00:08 through 00:15 in this video, was approaching the finish line as the blasts threw him to the ground. "The force from it just turned my whole body to jelly and I went down," Iffrig said. But he got up to finish the race, as seen at the 00:31 through 00:39 marks in this video.


Story by Brian M. Rosenthal, Seattle Times staff reporter


For Bill Iffrig, whether to finish the race was not a question.

The 78-year-old Lake Stevens man got knocked to the ground 15 feet from the finish line by the first explosion in a moment documented by a photograph that quickly went viral.

"The force from it just turned my whole body to jelly and I went down," said Iffrig, noting that nothing actually hit him. "I thought, 'This is probably it for me.'"



JOHN TLUMACKI / AP PHOTO / THE BOSTON GLOBE

Police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts.


But when Iffrig rolled over and realized he had only a scraped knee, he knew he had to finish.

"Somebody came by with a wheelchair but I said, 'I'm fine.' I wanted to finish," said Iffrig, a retired carpenter and well-known Club Northwest running club member participating in his 45th marathon, including his third in Boston.

The U.S. Track and Field website lists him as one of the nation's top masters long-distance road runners for his age category. On Monday, he finished fourth among men aged 75-79, according to the Boston Marathon website.

With sirens sounding all around him, Iffrig kept walking to downtown Boston's Park Plaza hotel to find his wife, Donna. The two met on a blind date and got married 58 years ago, Iffrig said. They've been living in the same Lake Stevens house for 50 years, Iffrig said.

"We're not quitters," he said.

Iffrig and his wife spoke by phone from their hotel later in the day. Iffrig said his ears were still ringing, but the couple was glad nothing worse happened.

"I was really lucky," Iffrig said. "If I'd been any closer at all to that thing, I wouldn't have made it."



JOHN TLUMACKI / AP PHOTO / THE BOSTON GLOBE

People react to a second explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts.


Read more accounts from Seattle-area runners in Boston.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►