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A Statistic From Today’s Bomb in Boston

• April 15, 2013 • 2:35 PM

(PHOTO: CHARLES KRUPA/AP)

Was the timing of today’s attack intentional or coincidence?

Several videos from today’s bombing at the Boston marathon capture the digital clock positioned over the finish line. According to the clock, the first explosion erupts at four hours, nine minutes from the race’s start.

It is certainly too early to distinguish useful information from distraction. But it is worth noting that a finishing time from four to four and a half hours is a common benchmark for marathoners. According to RunTri, a popular marathon training website, the average runner finished last year’s Boston course in four hours, 18 minutes.

Whether by intention or coincidence, today’s attack at the finish line appears to have coincided with the moment when, statistically, the largest number of runners—and presumably their friends and family—would be nearby.

Marc Herman
Marc Herman is a writer in Barcelona. He is the author of The Shores of Tripoli.

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