PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- One Ponte Vedra man is running and writing to ease the pain after the Boston Marathon Bombings. Hal Higdon, 82, was the first American to cross the finish line at the race at the 1964 Boston Marathon.
Higdon is a noted runner, running coach and best-selling author. USA Today recognized the avid runner as one of the "Most Recognized Runners and Running Personalities" in the country. Higdon was ranked third, behind U.S. Olympians Jeff Galloway and Ryan Hall.
"Even though I am not an Olympian, what I think that I do have, is a lot of running programs and training programs on my website," said Higdon.
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HIgdon is also a published author. He's written three dozen running books, including the best-selling book, "Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide."
His most recent published work recounts the experiences of 75 runners at the 2013 Boston Marathon, titled, "4:09:43: Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners."
"It was an emotional experience for me," said Higdon. "I cried a lot while I was writing the book."
The book's title refers to the time on the finish line clock when the first bomb exploded. Higdon wrote the book in four months by retelling stories of 75 runners who reached out to him via social media. Although Higdon will not be attending the race this year, he has advice for the 36,000 runners ready to tie their laces for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
"I know there is going to be a lot of tears shed as they cross the finish line on Boylston Street," said Higdon. "It's going to be a sea of tears. But, we need to get it out of our system and move on."