GSU professor recounts Boston Marathon bombing

Cydney Long

Brian Menaker was sitting in a restaurant with his father and two other friends after running in the Boston Marathon when the first bomb exploded near the finish line on Monday afternoon.

“We were probably two hundred yards away, enough to hear and feel something, and for there to be a lot of panic around us,” Menaker said.

Menaker is a health and kinesiology professor at Georgia Southern University and the coach of GSU’s running club, GSU RUN.

Nobody really knew what happened until several minutes after the explosion, Menaker said.

Members of GSU RUN were immediately concerned about Menaker’s safety.

“The thing that really worried me the most is that I knew he was running a little slower than usual, so he wasn’t running at full capacity,” Joey White, senior mechanical engineering major and president of GSU RUN, said.

“I was kind of scared for him since he was involved in it,” Darius Asadian, freshman electrical engineering major, said.

“I was more excited than nervous going into the race. I just wanted to do Boston once and get the experience,” Menaker said.

Menaker was one of 23,336 runners in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, finishing with a time of 2:39:39. He plans to run in the 118th Boston Marathon next spring.

“If anything, I think it made people angry that someone would attack one of the happier days that occurs in Boston,” Menaker said.

Runners are resilient and they thrive off of being put in difficult situations. This will make people stronger, Menaker said.

“It’s sad that it happened at an athletic event, but I don’t think marathon runners are going to stop running,” White said.

“It’s safe to say that I’m not going to run the Peachtree Road Race that’s coming up soon,” José Pérez, junior exercise science major and upcoming president of GSU RUN, said.

“Coach (Menaker) is willing to make sacrifices for this club, which means a lot to us because he doesn’t get paid to do this,” Pérez said.

Menaker is a big part of the club, especially in the spring semester, because without him the season would not have been as successful as it was, White said.

He is the fastest runner in Statesboro. In the fall he ran from his house to GSU, won the True Blue 5K, ran downtown and won the Turkey Trot Race, and then ran back home, White said.

Menaker said, “It’s something I’m never going to forget. If anything, it means I’m going to run another marathon, which I didn’t intend on doing.”