EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 23, 2013

Two crazy marathons, one retirement

By Bill Burt

---- — Andover’s Tim Tully was looking forward to the 2013 Boston Marathon, his second attempt at a marathon.

It had to be a better experience than the 2008 New York City Marathon, his first.

In N.Y., Tully was running over the Queensboro Bridge when the runner in front of him collapsed. Tully caught the man, who suffered a heart attack. Tully and a few runners ended giving the fallen runner, CPR, helping to revive him.

He finished the race in an emotional state.

“It was scary because there were no volunteers on the bridge,” said Tully. It took about 10 minutes before anybody came. But it all worked out. It was a very stressful day, besides the fact that it was my first-ever marathon.”

On Monday, the 48-year-old Tully ran the Boston Marathon, or at least 25.7 miles of it.

That’s when he was stopped by police with a half-mile left in the marathon.

“I thought they were kidding,” said Tully. “I was going to finish in about 4:30. Everybody was walking around, trying to call family members. I was standing around for an hour. It was very confusing.”

Tully soon found out what had happened, that an explosion had injured and possibly killed spectators, and he wasn’t complaining.

His thoughts turned to his family, which was supposed to be at the finish line area.

“They saw me at Boston College,” said Tully. “Then they jumped on the ‘T’ to see me at the finish line. But obviously it didn’t happen that way. Cell phone usage was cut off. It was hectic and very nerve-wracking trying to get them.”

Tully eventually caught up with his family, after he was on a train to Arlington Station when service was stopped.

Despite the personal hardships, Tully said the people he felt worse for were those that had travelled from other states and countries for this event.

“The one thing was that people were incredibly generous with each other, people letting other people use their cell phones,” said Tully. “It was very impressive seeing people come together.”

As for Tully’s marathon career, well, it can be summed up in two words.

“It’s over!,” he said.

“My wife said everything bad happens in threes. So I guess I’m finished,” said Tully. “This was probably going to be my swan song beforehand. Now, it’s definitely my swan song now.”

Send us your marathon stories If you have a human interest story of runners and spectators from the aftermath of the explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon, send them to sports at eagletribune.com or bburt@eagletribune.com We will be running periodic stories in the next several weeks.