2 Providence firefighters will run again in Boston Marathon - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

2 Providence firefighters will run again in Boston Marathon

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By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

Two Providence firefighters will be in the crowd of 36 thousand running in this years marathon. The seasoned marathon runners say last year was going to be their final 26.2 miles, but after the bombings, they decided they had no choice but to run again.

Hans Ramsden and Dan Gentile trained through one of New England's worst winters.

Ramsden said, "They've been through so much in a year that it makes it a little easier to lace your sneakers up when it's 9 degrees out and you have to run 17 miles."

The two veteran firefighters from the Providence Atwells Avenue station have run many marathons for Boston Children's Hospital. But this year, will be different.

For starters, they thought last year would be their final 26.2 miles in Boston, but the bombings immediately changed that.

"It's just I didn't want to end on that note, I didn't want them to win, I just feel as a group and as a team were strong and were going to prevail,"Ramsden explained.

Ramsden and Gentile had already crossed the finish line and were back at the hotel when the first bomb went off.

"When the second bomb went off everybody kind of knew that something was wrong," said Gentile.

Their firefighter instincts kicked in.

"The first thing was to go out, are they going to need help," said Gentile.

But their hotel went into lockdown. They watched the chaos from the windows.

"Obviously you knew that something was terribly wrong and you just hoped that they would receive the help that they needed," Ramsden explained.

This will be Ramsden's fifth marathon and Gentile's 22nd. Tthey're convinced this year's will be the best yet.

"Its going to be a very special day. They describe it as a 26.2 mile standing ovation and I think this year is going to be like nothing else," smiled Ramsden.

Both men will be running for families of Boston Children's Hospital, but Ramsden will also be running for the Corcoran family. The mother, Celeste and daughter, Sydney, were both injured as spectators last year.

Stay with ABC 6 News For Continuing Coverage of Marathon Monday.

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