Boston marathoner reacts to online petition to finish race - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boston marathoner reacts to online petition to finish race

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Boston runner, Mike Beeman of Tfiton, Georgia Boston runner, Mike Beeman of Tfiton, Georgia
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TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

Some Boston Marathoners who didn't finish this year's race because of the bombing want to make sure they get the chance to cross the finish line next year.

They're asking for automatic entry into the race. A south Georgia runner's long streak of finishing the Boston Marathon was broken by the attack.

Some runners started an online petition asking the city to let them finish the race.

Tifton High School teacher Mike Beeman was on the course, less than a half mile from the finish line, when the bombs exploded.

"What happened was tragic and I feel the deaths and injuries were a much bigger story than us not finishing," said Mike Beeman.

Beeman is a Boston native who has ran 36 Boston marathons. While he says finishing the race is an important milestone, he doesn't feel race organizers owe him anything.

"I'm going to let them make the decision. And I'm sure it's going to be a good one. Of the people that didn't finish, they'll treat us the way we should be. And I'll leave it up to them. Everybody got their opinion, but I'll leave it up to them," said Beeman.

Beeman says investigators did their jobs well and worked hard to catch the bombers quickly.

"I was excited when they did take them to justice. If indeed they are guilty, which it appears to be. Everybody's due their justice process in court. But I think they've done a great job in the investigation and handled it well. I hope things move forward. I want to move forward and I think everybody else does," said Mike Beeman.

The attack won't scare him away. He plans to run again next year.

"After 25 straight, you are grandfathered in. You are automatic entered. You have to pay. So my plans God willing and health willing is to go back for number 37 and that's exciting to me," said Beeman.

Mike Beeman hasn't received his medal for this year's marathon yet, but he says that's okay because the memories of the race, good and bad, will never leave his mind.

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