Surviving The Boston Bombing: One Couple’s Story


After the bombing at the Boston Marathon, a photographer captured an image of one of the runners, Susan Darmody, being comforted by her husband, Chris. TPM spoke to Chris Monday night and who spoke about their experience and Susan’s determination to cross the finish line eventually in spite of the attack.The Darmodys are from Westport, Mass., a town about 50 miles south of Boston. When the bombs went off, Chris was waiting near the finish line with the couple’s two daughters.

“It sounded like the muskets going off at a Patriots game,” he said. “I looked at my watch, I thought maybe noontime or maybe there was a vet or somebody that crossed the line that they were honoring. And then, the second one went off and then everyone just started running at us.”

Chris and his daughters were pushed into a nearby mall.

“We didn’t see the carnage or anything. We just saw the smoke and [heard] the sound. It was kind of confusing. No one knew what was going on,” said Chris.

Susan had completed 25.7 miles of the marathon when police officers walked onto the course and began to shut down the race. She was initially incredulous and demanded to know why she wouldn’t be able to finish. When officers informed her there was an explosion at the finish line, she began to fear for her family who she knew was waiting for her. Susan had placed her cellphone in an armband to listen to music as she ran. Though service was disrupted in the immediate aftermath of the attack, she eventually managed to get in touch with her family.

“When the explosions happened we got herded out of there pretty quickly and just tried to make our way back up the course where we knew she’d be somewhere,” Chris said. “We finally got a text message through to her and we found her.”

Despite the chaos around them, Susan and her family experienced a joyful reunion when they found each other on the race course.

“A lot of tears, a lot of hugging,” said Chris of the moment he saw his wife. “It was good.”

Once they were back together, it took several hours for Susan and her family to make it back home to Westport with the help of family and friends. Their car was in a parking lot near the finish line and they were unable to get back to it once the area was closed down in the wake of the attack. They plan to return to the site of the bombing soon to recover their car–and so Susan can finally complete the marathon.

“We’re going to go back,” Chris said. “She’s going to finish her last half mile. … It’s going to be tomorrow or the next day, but she’s going to finish that last half mile.”

Chris emailed TPM once he saw the photo of him and Susan after the bombing, and said he is focused on a different photo–one he will take after his wife is finally able to finish her race.

“I will take the pictures we didn’t get to take today,” he said.