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April 16. 2013 3:24PM

Salem restaurant owner, unable to finish marathon, plans to run next year

SALEM - Local restaurant owner Christian Breen never got the chance to complete his first-ever run in the Boston Marathon, but he vowed to return next April.

Breen, 41, owner of the Black Water Grille in Salem, said he had just made it past mile 24 when he got a call on his cellphone informing him that all was not well.

"I was listening to music on my phone while I ran," said Breen, one of 10 Salem residents to run in Monday's race. "That's when various family members began calling me."

By mile 25, police were blocking the roadway, he said, bringing his maiden run to an impromptu halt.

"It was all pretty hard to register right away," said Breen. "Running in a marathon is already as much of a mental struggle as a physical one."

Having made his ascent up Heartbreak Hill, Breen said he was already "in crisis mode" despite still being blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.

"I was working towards a really good sprint, just trying to complete the course," he said.

As he got closer to the explosion site, Breen described the scene as "chaotic."

Fortunately he was able to locate his many family members and confirm they'd made it out of harm's way a short time later.
Breen said he has several cousins who are on the Boston Marathon's organizing committee, and it took a while to make sure everyone was safely accounted for.

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