Local Runner Could Have Deferred To 2013 Boston Marathon

Maj. Dan Rooney offers his insight from his experiences with the military and the Boston Marathon Monday evening at the Patriot Golf Club in Owasso.

As we reflect in the aftermath of Monday's events at the Boston Marathon, it's hard not to be touched in some capacity; especially anyone privileged enough to have ever taken part. Major Dan Rooney ran the Boston Marathon just this past year.

Rooney did so even though he had the option of deferring to 2013 because of the exceptionally hot weather.

"It was one of the hottest Boston's (Marathon) on record," explained Rooney. "Several thousand deferred to this year that would have been there last year. Running through the finish with thousands of people lining the streets, that crowning moment -- to have that turn into sheer terror is just... unthinkable."

Given Rooney's military career as an F-16 pilot in the U.S. Air Force, witnessing casualties of war and terrorism aren't uncharted territory. Rooney's foundation, The Folds of Honor, benefits the families of men and women wounded or killed serving our country.

"If you've ever served in the military, it clicks in you as soon as you see something like this," Rooney said. "It's that 'fight or flight' mentality. In this case you just watch through the television and just keep those people in your thoughts and prayers."

But in spite of the terrorist acts upon our country, Rooney won't let it deter him from continuing to run in marathons like the one in Boston -- even though his concerned wife questioned their plans of running in the upcoming New York City Marathon.

"My wife called and said, 'Do we want to run New York City (Marathon),'" explained Rooney.

"If you live your life this way, you give these kinds of evil people the power over you. It certainly wouldn't stop me. If I got in Boston (Marathon) next year, I'd be running but it's something that'll always be in the back of your mind."