Local Man Reflects on Boston Marathon, Prepares to Return


As the nation remembers the three lives lost in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, a Grand Island man plans to return to run again.

Tom Osterbuhr, a Heartland Lutheran track coach, was about 100 yards from the finish line when the first bomb went off last year.

It was supposed to be his last Boston Marathon, but he told his wife that day that if he could qualify, he'd return for a fourth time.

A year later and 1,500 miles away, the images from April 15, 2013, follow him.

"It's hard to forget what we witnessed," said Osterbuhr. "Every now and then I'll see that cloud of smoke and I can still see it vividly in my mind."

He said watching the coverage of Boston's bombing memorial service brought even more memories back.

"I guess there's still a lot of emotion there," he said. "I still can't tell you exactly how I feel. [It's] still very confusing, a lot of sorrow for the people who lost legs and limbs and lives."

As he prepares to run the race again, Osterbuhr said that loss, and the people who are overcoming it, gives him strength.

"Those things are inspiring, kind of keep you going and make you realize how fortunate we really are," he said.

Still, Osterbuhr said he doesn't know how he'll react when his feet hit the pavement on Monday.

"I think it's going to be a very emotional day," he said. "I have times when I get chill bumps, times when I get teary eyed. Fear, I don't think there will be fear but I'm very anxious."

Osterbuhr said he was in contact with his fellow runners Tuesday, receiving his first text at 5 a.m.

He leaves for Boston on Friday.