St. Louis couple returning to Boston for marathon

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A St. Louis couple is returning to Boston for the marathon after coming very close to being injured by last year’s bombings.  Karen and Howard Mayes have mixed feelings about returning one year later.  Karen Mayes said, “Yes, it will be emotional returning to Boston."  Howard said, “I’m very excited about being at the Boston Marathon.”

Just moments after Howard Mayes crossed the finish line, his camera caught the sound of the first explosion.  His wife Karen was a spectator in the crowd. Each thought the other may have been hurt or even killed. A short while later they were reunited.  She said, “When he saw me, he said I was so afraid, those were my exact words to him.”

Howard is retired and is going back to school at UMSL to study chemistry.  Karen is a nursing instructor at St. Louis Community College. They are not afraid about going back for the marathon but they admit the chance of danger is on their minds. They wonder if there could be another strike by a terrorist. Howard Mayes said, “There’s always going to be that thought, what’s the possibility, the risk but you know there’s risk in everything I know at least in this one they’re going to have a  lot of security."

Karen added, “I can’t say I’m fearful. I think it will be a very, very tightly secure environment.”

If convicted, Howard Mayes believes bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be put to death.   Mayes said, “This is a human that really had a lot of hatred but at the same time for the acts he ought to be put to death.”  His wife says the death penalty is a tougher for her to make that judgement.

Although Howard was invited back to take part in the marathon, he suffered a foot and knee injury so the marathon committee invited his wife. The roles of runner and spectator will be reversed this time.