The elderly man captured on video getting knocked to his feet — at the moment the first blast went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday — and John Tlumacki's dramatic photo have become two of the most viewed images of the tragedy. Now the man's face has come to represent the spirit and determination to overcome this senseless crime after he got up and finished the race. Bill Iffrig, the 78-year-old man in the orange tank top was knocked off his feet just yards from the finish line when the first explosion detonated, said his legs turned to "noodles" from the force of the blast after running four hours in his third Boston Marathon. As Boston cops, race volunteers and spectators scattered for safety and to help others, Iffrig was helped up by a race official and managed to cross the finish line. Last night he told ESPN how he knew he was "going down" when he was knocked over by the explosion and knew it was a bomb. "It was only....feet away from me," he said. "It was really loud." He said he was heading for the finish line and "feeling pretty good" when he heard a terrible explosion. "The shockwaves must have hit my body and my legs just started going like noodles and I knew I was going down right there," he said. "My legs just gave out," he told CNN Monday night. He said most of the runners just kept on going, but he went down because he was nearest the blast. He said he never lost consciousness but described how he "woke up" a little later and saw what he believed to be a part of a bomb nearby. Mr Iffrig said what he saw was a casing that looked like a coffee can, but added: "Then all this smoke was coming from someplace, and I wasn't able to see too much." When a race official came to help him, Iffrig struggled to his feet and managed to cross the finishing line. Hopefully, viewers who watched the footage of the first blast will be happy to know what happened to to Iffrig, who appeared seriously hurt as he crumpled to the ground. "After you've run 26 miles, you're not going to stop there," said the veteran of 45 marathons. Iffrig's words and actions are lessons and metaphors for everyone who is affected by this sort of cowardly violence and when sports and the real world meet. Don't let it stop us from getting up and breaking the tape.