WKU's Basham Was One Block Away When First Bomb Went Off in Boston

Apr 17, 2013

Bowling Green resident and WKU instructor Cort Basham ran in Monday's Boston Marathon.
Credit Kevin Willis

For Bowling Green resident Cort Basham, the ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings isn't just a news story. Basham ran Monday's marathon and was with his mother just a block when the first explosion went off.

"You've just run three hours, so you're out of fuel. I was on my phone looking for restaurants nearby when the first explosion hit," Basham told WKU Public Radio Wednesday.

"My mind immediately went to the worst, and somebody next to us said 'that sounds like dynamite at a job site.' And within a few seconds, the second one went off, and at that point we knew."

Basham says he didn't have a view of the explosions, but that others around him did, and that many people started to flee the scene.

Basham says that had he been alone Monday, his first instinct would have been to find a side street and run away from the area. But that wasn't an option since his mother was also there. As the two left the area, Basham says he was filled with fear that something else around him and his mother would explode.

Basham returned safely to Bowling Green Tuesday.

The WKU instructor of Interdisciplinary Studies says what happened Monday just strengthens his love for the annual event in Boston. Part of that, he says, is the amazing crowd reaction marathoners get as they make their way through the grueling race.

"More than any other race I've experienced, Bostonians get it in regards to marathoning. It's not about winning, it's about experiencing limitations--being willing to encounter your limitations. We're at our most human when we find our limitations. And that's a lot of what marathoning is about."

Does Basham want to run in next year's Boston Marathon?

Yes, he says. Nothing that happened this week has changed his mind about running in Boston.