Western Wash. runner knocked down by Boston blast returns home

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by GARY CHITTIM and KATIE SCAFF / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on April 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Updated Friday, May 3 at 5:36 PM

Bill Iffrig, the marathon runner knocked down by the Boston blast, strolled into Sea-Tac International Airport today.

The 78-year-old runner became a symbol of American resolve and determination when he got up after the blast went off just a few yards and knocked him to the ground.

Since then he has been praised by leaders, including President Obama, and idolized by Americans who were looking for some hope in the middle of such despair.

Obama spoke of Iffrig during an address at an interfaith service for victims earlier this week.

"Like Bill Iffrig...the runner in the orange tank-top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast, we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we'll pick ourselves up," Obama said on Thursday.

"I came out pretty good," Iffrig told reporters after getting off his flight from Boston, "I was very lucky. Actually I didn't get hurt at all."

The fall could injured many younger runners but Iffrig said while he had one little abrasion on his knee and some ringing in his ears, he didn't hurt a bit.

He said he was happy to hear police had tracked down the suspected bombers and hopes the one at-large will be captured and sent to prison.

Iffrig is a little uncomfortable with all the attention but enjoyed a now famous photo showing him after the blast happened.

"I like that. That is a dandy," said Iffrig.

A photo of Iffrig on the ground surrounded by police in the moments after the attack that killed three and injured more than 170 is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Now that he’s home, Iffrig said he’s looking forward to a little rest and relaxation.

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