SALEM, N.H. — By now, if they were in George Ogin’s running shoes, most runners would have given up on plans to run in next month’s Boston Marathon.
For years, the 52-year-old Ogin has battled with back problems, that have included two bulging discs and a herniated disc. Then, in December, he suffered a leg injury that has caused chronic and painful tightening throughout the lower part of his body.
He hasn’t been able to run on a consistent basis in months, often relegated to training on an elliptical machine or walking in water while undergoing plenty of physical therapy.
“My wife worries that I’ll really hurt myself and doesn’t think I should be running,” said Ogin. “Probably I shouldn’t be, and I know I won’t be in the kind of shape I should be.”
But it’s going to take an event of monumental proportions to keep Ogin on the sidelines.
While there are thousands of runners anxious to make a statement by participating in this year’s Boston Marathon on April 21 in the wake of last year’s terrorist bombings, few are as motivated as Ogin.
For two reasons.
Last year, Ogin — an avid runner who had run Boston three times and completed nine marathons overall — was in the bleachers at the finish line with his daughter Nicole watching the runners finish when the bombs went off. He’ll never forget it.
“We heard the first one go off and at first I thought it was a gas explosion,” said Ogin. “There was a lot of smoke and I couldn’t see much. But then the second one went off and you could see everything that was going on.
“There was still some smoke, but as that cleared, you could see the people down and all the volunteers rushing to help them and helping people get out of the bleachers.