Boston Marathon bombing survivor from Main Line completes race with foot in cast boot

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Johanna Hantel vowed to return and compete in the Boston Marathon every year since 2013 when one of the bomb blasts near the finish line knocked her off her feet and left her with lifelong injuries.


On Monday, the 57-year-old medical researcher from Malvern, again crossed the finish line, this time in a cast boot, with a time of 7:19:37.

Hantel, who has run more than 80 marathons, wrote on Yahoo about her relationship with Dr. Howard Palamarchuk, a former elite race walker and a podiatrist and professor at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.


She credits Palamarchuk, who was volunteering in the medical tent the day of the bombing, with helping her compete before and after the blast. She ran again in 2014 and still competed in 2015 and 2016 despite a stress fracture in her foot.

Palamarchuk treated Hantel at Temple’s biomechanics lab.

“He also designed shoe orthotics that made it possible for me to run my first Boston Marathon, and my second, and my third … and many, too many, other marathons,” she wrote.





The day of the bombing, Hantel was 10 feet from the first explosion. The impact  knocked her off her feet, ruptured her eardrum and left her with a hearing loss. She had shrapnel wounds, broken fingers, a misaligned jaw and a blast-induced brain injury.

“I do not remember anything about the explosion except seeing an orange glow. I did not hear it or the second explosion that quickly followed,” she wrote on Yahoo.

The two explosions killed three and injured 254. An MIT patrol officer was killed in a shootout with the two suspects later that night. A year later, another police officer died from injuries he received in the gun battle with the bombers.

For 30 years, Palamarchuk has brought Temple students to the race to volunteer. He was in the medical tent with his students the day of the bombing, treated the injured and confronted carnage usually seen only in wartime, Hantel wrote.

“I saw Dr. P. this week, and he will be in touch with me next Monday while he works in the med tent. It is grueling for me to go back each year, but knowing that I will find Dr. P. in the med tent when I finish the race makes it easier,” Hantel wrote.

Hantel spoke at the 2015 death sentence hearing for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving bomber.




“And if I have to crawl,” she ssaid then, “I am going to continue to run Boston each year even if I cannot qualify, because I will not let this sickening act take that away from me, and there will be four angels waiting along Boylston Street for me to finish.”




















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