Man who shoveled snow off Boston Marathon finish line identified

A lingering mystery from the great Boston blizzard of 2015 was solved Wednesday afternoon when a man pictured clearing snow off the finish line of the Boston Marathon was identified. reported that Chris Laudani, a bartender at a nearby restaurant and social club, was the one who cleared off the distinctive yellow-and-blue pavement as nearly two feet of snow fell on the city Tuesday.

Laudani told the station that he was shoveling snow outside the restaurant when he decided to clear off the finish line, which he calls his "favorite spot in the city."

Laudani said that he has run the world famous 26.2 mile road race five times, including in 2013, when two bombs went off steps from the finish line, killing three people and injuring over 260. Laudani, who ran the race with brother that year and was uninjured, said that the day of each year's race is his favorite day of the year.

"It's always there. Year round," he said of the finish line. "They repaint it every year leading up to the marathon, and then they leave it there, all year so people can see it. It's a really special place, not just because of everything that happened in 2013."

The mystery of Laudani's identity spread across social media late Tuesday and earlier Wednesday after a local woman named Kelsey Karkos posted a photo of him on Instagram.

"He saw she [sic] me looking for the finish line while he was shoveling the sidewalk," Karkos said in a comment online. "He knew exactly what I was looking for and came over to help me! Such a great person with Boston spirit during the blizzard!"

Wednesday morning, the Boston Police Department posted photos of the then-unknown man to their official Twitter account and asked if anyone could help them identify him.

"For someone to brave the winter blizzard to clear our finish line for us is yet another statement as to what our event means not only to runners but also to Americans," Tom Grilk, director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, said in a statement. "Since [the bombing], we have continually witnessed an outpouring of support for this great event and the City, demonstrating just how unique and special this race really is and all for which it stands."

This year's Boston Marathon will be run on April 20.

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