Christine Pariseau Telge crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon about 15 minutes before the first bomb went off on Boylston Street. Her family — husband Peter Telge and sons Zach, 6, and Tyler, 8 — had been stationed at Heartbreak Hill, about six miles from the finish. She remembers seeing her brother, Henry Pariseau, standing with spectators in front of what would become the second bomb site. Fortunately, he left to join her family just moments after she passed him.
As we all know, not everyone was so fortunate. Three people perished, and more than 280 others, including competitors and spectators, were injured. Fifteen people lost limbs, some suffering double amputations.
One of those double amputees was Jeff Bauman Jr., a resident of Chelmsford, Mass., who works at the Nashua Costco and has family in New Hampshire.
Bauman may be the best known of the Marathon bombing survivors, partly because of the iconic, if gruesome, images of him being rescued by cowboy-hat-wearing Carlos Arredondo, and, more significantly, because of his role in helping to identify one of the bombing suspects. In the past few weeks, Bauman has made public appearances to wave a giant Bruins banner before a B's playoff game at TD Garden and to throw out a ceremonial first pitch — along with Arredondo — before a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
While Bauman is recovering from his injuries, he still has a long way to go.
For Telge — part of a group of runners associated with her sons' Manchester school, Green Acres Elementary, who ran the Marathon — the memories of April 15 are fresh, her sympathy for Bauman and the other victims powerful. She recalls how, reunited with her family, she quickly reached her car and escaped the city.
"As we drove through Boston, the sirens started," she said. "When we got on the highway, there were sirens from all directions. We knew it was bad. I started crying, but tried to keep it from the boys.
"Then the texting started. Our running group had 15 runners there. Everyone was trying to find everyone else. Phones were down. It was crazy. Then came texts from others that were hearing on the television and radio about bombs. It was the craziest hour of my life."
When Telge got home, she said, Tyler, her 8-year-old, didn't want to talk about what he had just experienced. Zach, wanted to know why someone would want to hurt people with bombs.
Weeks later during dinner, Telge said, the boys, who also are part of a Green Acres Elementary running team, expressed a desire to do something to help Bauman. From that, the idea of a family-themed running event and fundraiser was borne.
On Sunday, the Unity 1-Miler and Family Fun Runs will take place at Livingston Park. After registration at 9:45 a.m., a series of kids' races — at distances ranging from 50 to 400 meters, based on age — will take place on the Dr. Louis T. Gatsas track while the adults head off into the woods around Dorrs Pond with the option of a 1- or 2-mile trail run. The event will culminate at 11:20, when everyone gathers on the track for the 1-Mile Unity Run.
While registration is free — the emphasis is on family participation, Telge said — there will be a table where donations will be collected to a fund set up to help Bauman with his recovery. Anyone who contributes $10 or more will be admitted to an afternoon fundraiser at the Telge's Manchester brewpub, Milly's Tavern, with proceeds from that event going to funds set up for other New Hampshire victims of the Marathon bombings.
"While I would like to raise money for the (Bauman) fund, it's also important for my boys to be a part of something — to show their strength, to talk about the fact that they were at the Boston Marathon and that they're OK now," Telge said of the Livingston Park event.
She hopes Boston Marathon entrants who were prevented from finishing will participate and encourages everyone to wear a favorite Boston T-shirt.
"It's about helping Jeff and bringing runners together in a show of unity," she said.
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TWO BELOVED Manchester sports figures — Butch Joseph, the former longtime city athletics director and football official, and Joe Sullivan, retired from teaching at Manchester High West and covering sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader — continue to undergo care after recent hospital stays.
Joseph recently underwent throat surgery for the second time in five years and is home resting. Sullivan, admitted for high blood pressure and sugar levels, is currently at the Hackett Hill Healthcare Center in Manchester.
"There are many people in the city who love these gentlemen. My advice to anyone wishing to contact them would be to kindly mail a card to their homes," said former Manchester High West athletics director Frank Harlan, a close friend of both Joseph and Sullivan. "I personally pick up the mail at Joe's home every day and deliver it. I'm sure Butch's family would appreciate it as well."
Sullivan's address is 21 Larchmont Road, Manchester, 03104. Joseph resides at 157 Sunnyside St., Manchester, 03103.
The entire sports staff at the New Hampshire Union Leader wishes both men a speedy recovery.
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WITH THE American Legion baseball practice scheduled to start on Sunday, June 9, Manchester's Henry J. Sweeney Post and Post 79 have announced tryout dates. Sweeney Post's will be at Piscataquog Park tomorrow at 9 a.m., and Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. Post 79 will hold tryouts at Memorial High Tuesday through Thursday, also at 6 p.m.
"City Sports" appears Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at email@example.com.