Boston bombing marathon runner speaks of horror

Geoff Baggaley, Debbie Holmes and Dean Besau - local runners in the Boston Marathon

Geoff Baggaley, Debbie Holmes and Dean Besau – local runners in the Boston Marathon

by Samantha Hepworth

A huge manhunt for the second brother suspected in the Boston marathon bombings is underway – bringing back memories of the tragic events for a Guiseley dentist who crossed the finish line minutes before the explosions.

Geoff Baggaley, 54 who works at Guiseley Dental Care, arrived back at his Menston home to his wife and three children on Wednesday, still shaken from the attack that killed three people.

Speaking today (Friday, April 19) Dr Baggaley said: “I will be pleased if they catch the second suspect alive, and find out why they have done it.”

Today police confirmed that one suspect was shot  after a chase overnight, and at the time of going to press a second suspect is still on the run as Boston stays under lockdown.

Dr Baggley had just finished the race in Boston on Monday and was moving away from the finish line when he heard the explosions.

He said: “I heard two big bangs, it sounded like two big thunder claps, or even fireworks. But I was not at all worried what it was. The last thing you think it’s a bomb.”

But when he suddenly started to receive worried text messages from back home he found out that the finish line which he had crossed just 30 minutes  ago had been bombed.

It was then Dr Baggaley realised his running pal from Skyrac Athletic club, Dan Besau, had been behind him in the race.

He said: “We didn’t know where he was for probably an hour and when we realised there were two bombs on the finishing line it was pretty tense.

“We knew he would be finishing around the time of the bombs and we were worried more bombs may explode. As everyone started to panic, I just wanted to speak to me wife to tell her I was ok.”

Mr Besau was later found safe.

Dr Baggaley said he would not race in the Boston Marathon again, and added: “I feel hollow about it.”

He has three children, James, 26, Laura 24 and Edward 21.

The three victims have been named as Martin Richard 8, Krystle Campbell 29, and Lu Lingzi.

Despite concerns, the London Marathon is still planned for Sunday.  But security is to be reviewed in light of events in Boston.

A patient of Dr Baggaley, Toby Mountain, 18, from Guiseley said the explosions will not stop him competing at the event.

He said: “It was quite frightening to find that out, but it will spur me on out of respect for him.”

Dr Baggaley who knows the Mountain family and heard Toby was going to London said: “If I was Toby I would go, he is a fit young lad, but I have a family and wouldn’t.”

He will run the marathon in aid of a charity granting wishes to seriously and terminally ill children. Toby said: “It gets them out of the hospital and gives joy to all the family.”

You can support Toby by going to:  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TobyMountain.

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