From terror tragedy comes a heart-warming love story

James Smith and his fiance, Sheela, who were in Boston during the bombings and have since got engaged.

James Smith and his fiance, Sheela, who were in Boston during the bombings and have since got engaged.

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A Doncaster marathon runner has proposed to his partner days after they were caught up in the Boston bombing tragedy.

James Smith popped the question to his girlfriend of ten months, Sheela Das, on Saturday.

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following explosions in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following explosions in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Only days earlier, the couple had narrowly avoided tragedy as James was one of about 350 Brits who took part in the Boston Marathon, where three people died and more than 200 were injured in two horrific blasts near the finishing line.

James, who lives in Cantley, completed the race in 3 hours 17 minutes, about 40 minutes before the first bomb went off.

“It was not until we were going back to our apartment that we heard all the emergency service sirens and then saw the vehicles passing,” said James, a database administrator.

“At the apartment we turned on the TV and realised what had happened.”

James, 39, and Sheela, 38, were in Boston with some friends but they got a text message shortly before the authorities disabled mobile phone receptions to say they were safe.

James, who is a member of the Kimberworth Striders running club and Doncaster Athletics Club, said: “We were all in complete shock as to what was happening as this was a marathon - just ordinary people out there trying to do something they have dreamed of and to be supported by family and friends. Finding out about the extent of deaths and injuries was unbelievable and so sad.”

After Boston, the couple, who met online, travelled to San Francisco.

“I proposed to Sheela at the Charles Shultz Museum as Sheela is a huge fan of Snoopy,” said James.

“Sheela was sat on a bench next to a model of Snoopy and that is where I asked her to marry me. I am so pleased she said yes.”

Next the loved-up pair are travelling to Yosemite and then Monterey to take part in more running events, before they return to Doncaster.