Man shovels Boston Marathon finish line during blizzard

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The man who was photographed Tuesday shoveling the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday was identified Wednesday afternoon.

While the blizzard continued and historic amounts of snow blanketed the city in Boston on Tuesday, Boylston Street in Boston was quiet, as a travel ban kept cars off the major street. Then, Tuesday afternoon, a ribbon of bright yellow and blue emerged as a man uncovered the finish line, hidden underneath inches of snow.

Kelsey Karkos, a local woman who snapped a close-up picture of the man as he shoveled, said she walked up to him while he was shoveling the sidewalk nearby.

"He saw she 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!"

She said she did not know the man, or know his name.

Karkos posted the photo to Instagram, and wrote that the man shoveled the finish line "to remind us why we go out there and run every day even in the blizzard!"

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Another person, Philip Hillman, took a photo of a man from out a window of a building overlooking the finish line as he finished shoveling.

As people tried to identify the man, people began retweeting Hillman's photos of him in the act, sparking a hashtag on Twitter - #WhoShoveledTheFinishLine.

After FOX 25 posted this story online Wednesday, a manager at Back Bay Social Club, a restaurant and bar located on Boylston near the finish line contacted us and said one of their bartenders, a man named Chris Laudani was responsible for the shoveling.

Laudani told FOX 25's Crystal Haynes that the Marathon finish line is his "favorite spot in the city."

He was shoveling around Back Bay Social Club when he decided to shovel off the finish line.

Laudani has run the Boston Marathon five times, including in 2013, when two bombs went off near the finish line.

He ran the race with his brother, and while both of them were uninjured, he said that day sticks out in his mind.

"The community that comes here, it's amazing," Laudani said.

Marathon Monday is his favorite day, he said.

"It's better than Christmas, or my birthday, because all of these really cool people from all over the world come here, and they stay in all the hotels nearby and they come into the bars and I get to chat with everybody."

Laudani loves to look at the finish line when he comes to work, so he decided to shovel it off.

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

Tom Grilk, the director of  the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, released a statement about his act.

“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.  Since that time, 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," the  statement read.

"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."