Sunday, December 21, 2014

Boston Marathoner Returns Home To Andalusia
By Catalina Trivino



An Andalusia man has just returned home from running in the Boston Marathon. He sits down for his first face-to-face interview with Alabama News Network to describe the terror he witnessed just after the bombings.

John Twitty finished the race in 4 hours and 19 minutes -- and while he wanted to slow down as he got closer to the finish line he says pushing himself to reach the end ultimately saved his life.

"Coming through the finish line I took one final picture." The photo taken by Twitty is the exact scene of where the first bomb went off. It was taken just four minutes before it happened.

"It sounded like a cannon blast just a huge artillary round. It made us all turn around and look in that direction and at that time we saw a huge plume of smoke that was basically rising up from that blast," Said Twitty.

He says he was standing just a block from the finish line when the bombs exploded. That's when law enforcement started directing him, along with others, to move farther from the scene.

When the first bomb went off, he knew something wasn't right. But at the time, he didn't feel any danger.

"When you heard the second sound, it was getting worse there. And I think about that time I started thinking about, 'Where are my people? My family?'" Said Twitty. Just hours ago his family told him they'd be standing on the left side near the finish line.

"You get kind of welled up in your eyes, teary... you're trying to process what's going on... I need to find my people. So, I had my phone with me and I was able to text my wife real quickly," Said Twitty.

He tells us they were standing about four blocks from the finish line because they couldn't get through the crowds. While they're all okay, he says the thoughts of that horrific moment continue to linger.


"What if it had been my child? What if that had been my spouse? Those kinds of things. What would it have been an hour from now? I can't really leave that thought," Said Twitty.

Twitty tells us this experience has affected him emotionally, Where he's become more alert and stunned by sounds, like the toot of horn. But like the rest of the country, he says he and his family will get through this.

Twitty also tells us he's submitted photos to the FBI to help with their investigation. He is one of 112 runners from Alabama who qualified for this year's Boston Marathon.