Runner, illustrator Scott Magoon draws strength five years on


Scott Magoon jogged toward the Boston Marathon finish line five years ago, his goal in sight. He’d jumped into the last wave of runners that morning at the start in Hopkinton, nfl shop jerseys authentic Massachusetts, without an entry bib — a “bandit,” in distance running parlance — and he didn’t feel any qualms about that. Whom was he hurting? He was about to beat his official time from the year before.

He heard an explosion ahead of him. A debris cloud rose. Objects rained out of it. Magoon turned to the runner next to him. “That’s not good,” he said. They slowed to a stop. Then a second bomb detonated 50 yards behind them, and the concussive shock wave clouted Magoon in the back. He instinctively threw himself belly-down on the asphalt, calculating how far he was from the spot where his wife and two young sons were waiting to see him go by.

“It seemed so quiet,” said Magoon, a 45-year-old freelance illustrator from the Boston suburb of Reading. “It just took a few seconds for people to make noise and realize, ‘We gotta get the hell out of here.'” He inhaled deeply, pausing in the retelling. “I remember looking around in the direction of the bomb, finally. I didn’t see a whole lot, but I saw enough.”

Magoon pulled out his phone and was able to reach his wife. His kids were unscathed and mostly uncomprehending; his younger son thought a giant had attacked. As Magoon fled the course to find them, his only apparent injury a scraped knee, he already understood how fortunate he was compared to many on Boylston Street whose lives were forever altered.

But he was fine. Or was he? The day rang in his ears and his mind, lingering in a way he hadn’t anticipated. Sudden loud noises would catapult him back to that moment of fear and uncertainty. His walk to the office where he worked at the time took him by the finish area, where the stone fa?ade of the Old South Church loomed like a reproach: See what happens when you go where you’re not supposed to be? It’s your fault you were in the bomb zone. You don’t deserve to feel bad. Other people are suffering so terribly.

Magoon wrestled with his spiraling thoughts in what he describes as a “relatively mild case” of post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, at his wife’s urging,shop nfl jerseys online he saw a therapist and went on medication. He pulled through but kept his journey mostly to himself. “It gave me perspective,” he said. “I heard so many stories of people who went through similar things that I didn’t feel like so much of a wimp or an outcast, unable to process or cope.”