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Boston Marathon survivors run 2016 race

BBC News BBC News 18/04/2016
Adrianne Haslet at the 2016 Boston Marathon: Survivor Adrianne Haslet used a prosthetic leg to participate in the race this year © AP Survivor Adrianne Haslet used a prosthetic leg to participate in the race this year

Two amputee survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings have returned to cross the finish line this year.

Patrick Downes finishing the Boston marathon: Mr Downes survived the 2013 attacks © Reuters Mr Downes survived the 2013 attacks

Patrick Downes and Adrianne Haslet ran the race using prosthetic limbs, three years after explosions killed three and wounded hundreds.

The two are part of a group of bombing survivors and their families, One Fund Community, participating in the race.

Rebekah Gregory, who also lost her leg in the bombings, ran the race in 2015.

Mr Downes, a Boston College graduate, had been a runner for many years before the bombings.

Ms Haslet was a professional ballroom dancer who was watching the race when the bombs went off in 2013.

They both participated in the mobility-impaired division of the well-known US marathon.

She decided to come back as a runner for the 2016 race, having received a prosthetic leg to dance.

"A lot of people think about the finish line," she told the Associated Press news agency. "I think about the start line."

Ms Haslet trained with the prosthetic blade, enduring a hip flexor injury.

"It was about finding another challenge, and finding a new day," she said. Her race is raising funds for Limbs for Life, which provides prostheses to low-income amputees.

Mr Downes participated in the race on hand cycles the past two years, according to the New York Daily News. He was watching the marathon in 2013 near the finish line when the bombs went off. Both he and his wife lost limbs.

This year, his race is raising money for the Boston College Strong Scholarship, founded by the couple's classmates.

"I have very little recollection from when the bombs went off, but as Jess has told me, it was just unspeakable sights and fear," he told the New York Daily News. "All these everyday people became heroes. I'll never know how to say thank you to them."

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