Society

Author Tom Lonergan Wrote Book About Boston Marathon Bombings in 2002

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A man who wrote a book about a terrorist plot to set off bombs during the Boston Marathon in 2002 was shocked to learn that his story came true on Monday.

Tom Lonergan was an avid runner before he injured his knee and was forced to quit. He ran the Boston Marathon 17 times rom 1983 to 1999, which inspired him to write a self-published book called "Heartbreak Hill: The Boston Marathon Thriller."

The book tells a story of a terrorist plot to set off multiple bombs during the Boston Marathon, but the plan is thwarted by a homicide detective.

"I had an instant, visceral reaction to the events. 'Oh my God, just as I predicted,'" he said.

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In a blogpost he wrote for Huff Post Books, he said he thought of the idea while running the 100th Boston Marathon.

"The world was, as it is now, a tumultuous mess," Lonergan said. "And Boston then, as now, provided the largest single day spectator event in any country, 2.5 million spectators lining the course, from Hopkinton to Boston, men, women and children let out of school for the Patriot's Day holiday."

While he was running for four hours in the marathon, he worried that bombs might go off.

"How easy, I thought, for any terrorist," Lonergan said. "An exceedingly soft target, as the experts say."

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He said he would not withdraw his book from sale because it "represents the finest feelings for the marathon, the city of Boston and the sport of running."

Though he said he was troubled by the book's foresight.

"I could not help feeling as I saw the news reports on Monday that someone, somehow may have been inspired by my fiction," he said.

But his book was self-published through company iUniverse, and Lonergan said it did not sell many copies.

He now works as a part-time museum docent in Nantucket, Mass. 

In the blogpost for Huffington Post, Lonergan said the marathon should be renamed for the eight-year-old boy, Martin Richard, who died in the bombings. 

Lonergan said he is now considering getting surgery so he can run in the next marathon.

Sources: NY Daily News, Huffington Post