Gloversville coach who ran marathon says terrorists won't win - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Gloversville coach who ran marathon says terrorists won't win

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GLOVERSVILLE, NY. – Days after the Boston marathon, runner John Valovic continues to contemplate his mortality.  He was one of the thousands of people stopped by authorities less than half a mile from the finish line just after the first two bombs went off.

"I realized that I was standing in a group of a couple thousand people and if there was an explosion of some sort I needed to get out of this giant group of people and try and find the people I was there with," Valovic said.

Valovic who coaches' track at Gloversville High School and works as the In-school Suspension Supervisor tells us this was his second marathon. He was running it for cancer research, for his father and had the support of his community raising $5,700 for charity. His family, girlfriend and some co-workers had traveled to Boston to watch him compete.

"The day started off great, I had a lot of nervous energy," Valovic said.

While Valovic began the race in Boston, Principal Richard DeMallie says he kept an eye on the Boston Athletic Association's online "Athlete Tracker."

"We had been tracking john and we were able to giving notice to his students each period," DeMallie said.

Valovic tells us he was on pace to finish the 26.2-mile race right on target, but then his legs cramped up.

"Between miles 23 and 24 I had to walk for about 15 minutes," Valovic said.

He later realized that cramp though frustrating at first; might have been what saved his life.

"Looking back doing the math...that would have put me there right around the first explosion, I've never been thankful to be in pain, but I'm thankful for that cramp," Valovic said.

"I was very concerned about [his] mom, [who also works at the school,] Matt, John and their families as well," Principal Richard DeMallie said.

"That could have been myself or my friends and family just standing there, trying to experience something so awesome, so wonderful and then it turned so quickly," Valovic said.

Valovic says he's been in a bit of a "daze" since the explosion.

"That could have been myself or my friends and family just standing there, trying to experience something so awesome, so wonderful and then it turned so quickly," Valovic said.  

Still, he says he refuses to let the terror of the day change him or the way he coaches.

"Do you think you're going to go back?" one of his student-athletes asks.

"Yes," Valovic said. "I think I'm going to to try and go back and finish this time."

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