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Media memo: UW-Eau Claire professor at Boston, London marathons

April 18, 2013

TO: News editors and directors

FROM: Julie Poquette, News Bureau director

SUBJECT: UW-Eau Claire professor at Boston, London marathons

Dr. Sean Hartnett, UW-Eau Claire professor of geography, was working at the Boston Marathon April 15 when two deadly explosions killed three and injured more than 140. Hartnett is now in London for the April 21 London Marathon.

During the Boston Marathon, Hartnett was in the race's media center when the bombs went off and was unharmed by the blasts — though several off his friends "were on the finish line working with the timing crew and while not hurt physically will carry that blast with them forever," Hartnett said.

Following the blasts, the media center was in lockdown and Hartnett was one of the first allowed to leave, due to his scheduled flight to London that evening. After arriving in London, he was interviewed by the BBC about his experience in Boston and the impact of the tragic events there on the April 21 race in London.

As he did in Boston, in London Hartnett will write reports on the race for Track & Field News, make course maps and track the pace of the lead runners. He also will be recording runners' split times and displaying the information on a message board so the runners know what pace they are running and their projected finish time.

Hartnett, a former marathon runner himself, has received widespread media coverage in recent years for his work creating marathon course profiles that meticulously track elevation changes. He's done profiles for several courses, including those in Chicago, Boston, New York and London.

Hartnett is available via email at or Skype at seanghartnett to share with news media his experiences at the Boston Marathon as well as his observations regarding the impact of the Boston tragedy on the London race.

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