Man braves blizzard to clean snow off Boston Marathon finish line

Chris Laudani, a Boston bartender, does a good deed during the blizzard and captures the city's heart

A mystery man who shoveled the Boston Marathon finish line during the blizzard, becoming a symbol of the city’s spirit, was identified Wednesday as a bartender working down the street from the area where two pressure-cooker bombs shattered a spring day almost two years ago, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Chris Laudani, a bartender at the Back Bay Social Club on Boylston Street, shoveled the piling snow from the yellow-and-blue finish line Tuesday. And he did it despite frigid temperatures and lashing winds during a storm that dropped more than 2 feet of snow on the city, and up to 3 feet elsewhere.

Police in Boston had released photos of the shoveler, using the hashtag #WhoShoveledTheFinishLine, to ask the public to identify the man. The mystery took off on Twitter, and was soon solved.

“We have confirmed who the man is,” Boston police spokeswoman Rachel McGuire said. “He doesn’t want to be contacted. He is a pretty humble guy.”

Laudani did talk to Boston magazine, however. “I’m no hero; I’m just a nut who loves the marathon,” he said.

The executive director of the Boston Athletic Assn., which oversees the marathon, was among those hailing Laudani.

“We saw profound acts of courage and kindness following the bombings, which occurred in the city of Boston in April 2013 near the Boston Marathon finish line,” Thomas Grilk said. “But an act like we see depicted here proves that — in Boston — everyone owns the marathon. We thank Chris Laudani for his own display of very high regard for all that Boston represents.”

One of the men accused of carrying out the April 2013 bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, faces federal terrorism charges in connection with the attack. Jury selection at his trial was canceled Tuesday and Wednesday because of the weather.

Even as Boston dug out from the blizzard, scattered power outages remained, especially on Nantucket. Forecasters predicted more snow across the Northeast beginning Thursday, and another storm by Sunday.

About 2 to 4 inches was forecast from each of them — no match for the blizzard.

Massachusetts communities about 40 miles inland from Boston, including Lunenburg and Auburn, recorded 36 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, and parts of Connecticut reported more than 30 inches.

Boston’s snow record was set in 2003 when 27.5 inches fell on Feb. 17 and 18.

This week’s blizzard made Boston’s top 10, ranking about sixth. An exact snow total could move it up a notch, however, surpassing the 24.9 inches that fell on Feb. 8 and 9 in 2013.

michael.muskal @latimes.com

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