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April 15, 2013

Former Terre Haute South coach watches Boston bombing from grandstand

TERRE HAUTE — Pat Rady was sitting in a grandstand right across the street from where the first bomb detonated during Monday’s Boston Marathon.

One son, Michael, had finished the race, but another son, Patrick, had not. Patrick, it turned out, was within 50 yards of where the second explosion occurred.

While it took 90 minutes to two hours for them to reunite, all three escaped without injury.

Eventually, they made their way back to their hotel airport, via water taxi. “We’re just thankful to the good Lord we’re all here and safe,” said Pat Rady, who spent more than 20 years as the boys basketball coach at Terre Haute South Vigo High School. “It’s something I hope I never witness again. … Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

Pat Rady was interviewed by cell phone Monday evening. The 72-year-old did not want to talk at length about what he had witnessed in Boston. “It is traumatic,” he said.

Michael, 41, lives in Crawfordsville and works for Pepsi, while Patrick lives in Cloverdale and teaches at Cloverdale High School. Michael was running his second Boston Marathon, Patrick his first. Last year, Michael took his family along.

Pat Rady, who lives in Terre Haute, continues to coach at Cloverdale High School, where son Patrick is his assistant. Pat Rady is the “winningest” active coach in Indiana.

According to The Associated Press, at least three people were killed and at least 130 people were injured. Children were among the casualties.

The explosion “was deafening,” Rady said.

At the time of the first blast, Michael had already crossed the line and Rady had been waiting for Patrick to finish before reuniting with both at a designated area for families.

About 10 to 20 seconds after the first blast, the second occurred “toward where runners were coming from,” Rady said. “It was a scary moment.”

Rady then went to the area where families could reunite, but at first, he could not find Michael. “He finally got his cell phone going and found me,” Rady said. “We didn’t know where Patrick was. He didn’t have his cell.”

Finally, Patrick was able to use another person’s cell phone, and he called his wife — who called Rady and told him his son was OK.

The three finally met at a yogurt shop, where the manager was willing to remain open until the Radys could reunite. Other stores were closing down.

“We sure hugged each other when we met each other,” Rady said.

Transportation became difficult, and some commuter trains were suspended, Rady said. Finally, they took a water taxi back to their airport hotel.

Margaret Rady, Pat’s wife, said she wasn’t aware of what had happened until her husband called her and told her, “We are all right.”  She asked, “What happened?”

He didn’t say too much, but told her it was “really bad,” she said. She then tuned into the news.

Her husband and sons plan to return home today. “Thank God they are OK,” she said.


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