There were 207 runners from Missouri who competed in today’s Boston Marathon. Sandy Davidson tells Missourinet affiliate KRES in Moberly it was chaos from start to finish even before the bombs went off.
Davidson says she finished the race about five minutes before the explosions happened. She thought they were cannon blasts in some sort of celebration. But Davidson says one look at a nearby police officer’s face and she and her family knew it was not a celebration and something had gone horribly wrong. That’s when she and her family hailed a cab and headed for their hotel.
President of the Ozarks Ridge Runners says Boston Marathon Runners from the Springfield area are safe after explosions near the finish line. Chris Revoir says all of them crossed the finish line before the twin blasts.
Among them were KSPR Reporter Joanna Small who tells KTTS news she finished about 30 minutes before the disaster with a time of 3 hours and 36 minutes. She says she and her husband had to wait several hours before buses and cabs were allowed back into the downtown area so that she could get back to her suburban hotel.
More than a dozen Central Missouri runners took part in the Boston Marathon today. KBIA reports 12 of the 16 runners from Columbia registered for the race finished, and four did not.
“Well we know that Ann Sievers and the gals that she was running with these in Boston are all OK,” Lara Floria with Wilson’s Total Fitness in Columbia told KBIA. “They’ve all reported back and they’re all OK. She hasn’t been able to make phone calls yet, I know the cell towers must just be bombarded.”
ABC 17 News says all runners from Columbia are safe and accounted for.
Sievers said shortly after the race, “We are safe for now. I’ve been out since and it’s eerie around here.”
One runner said her husband was at the finish line, but that he is OK after the explosions. Another runner was stopped at the 25 mile marker by race officials.
The Jefferson City News Tribune reports that a Jefferson City man who was running his fourth Boston Marathon had finished the race an hour before the two deadly explosions.
Dana Frese told the News Tribune he and his family were back at their hotel, a tenth of a mile from the finish line, when they heard the explosions.
“Looking out from our hotel room, the whole area is a crime scene,” Frese said. “There is no access to our hotel, except for registered guests. There’s police walking in the lobby with machine guns. A couple hotels were completely evacuated.”
“We’ll see what Tuesday holds,” he said. “This was a cowardly act targeting people waiting for family members at a great event. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured and the families of those who lost loved ones. This was a great a day of celebration for 27,000 runners, and it turned into a terrible tragedy.”
At last count, three people have been killed in the attack … nearly 150 people were injured, many of them critically. We don’t yet know if any Missourians sustained injuries. The FBI continues to look into the explosions.
The Boston Marathon’s race tracker online shows the names of the 207 Missourians who competed, whether they finished and their race times.
O’Fallon, Mo. resident Kassie King is a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston. She talked to KSDK in St. Louis while her school was on lockdown.
“I had very very close friends running in the marathon. I had very close friends covering the marathon. People who were literally on top of the explosion, and it suddenly became not about all the past experiences, not about 9/11, not about Newtown. It was just such a moment of people caring about people. Which is interesting because I’m sure this is something we’ll look back on for years when we reference the Boston Marathon,” she said.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports St. Louisans were stunned by the silence immediately following the blasts.
Adam Meinershagen tells the Post he was waiting for his wife at a staging area, a few blocks from the finish line, when the first blast went off, and then everyone froze.
“I just saw thousands and thousands and thousands of people stop,” Meinershagen said. “It was the most surreal thing. It was just so quiet.”
He says a moment later, he heard a second boom and every police officer in sight started running toward the explosions.
Martha Meinershagen, a teacher in St. Louis County, crossed the finish line three minutes before the blast.
“I knew what it was. I knew it was bad,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it … a boom and a puff of smoke, as high as the buildings around it.”
The Post reports that dozens of runners were from the St. Louis area: 39 from St. Louis, eight from Chesterfield, five from St. Charles and three each from Kirkwood and Webster Groves.
Anna Forcelledo, 32, of Affton, and Temima Gould, 30, of St. Louis, had crossed the finish line about 35 minutes before the explosion and were standing in the family gathering area. The pair had run the race with several friends from the St. Louis area.
“We heard two large explosions go off, and the whole crowd went silent. Then we started hearing ambulances and were told that we had to leave where we were,” Forcelledo said.
Dr. Jacqueline Payton, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University, was one block away and about 10 minutes past the finish line when the blasts occurred and said she knew it had to be some sort of bomb or terrorist attack.
“I just knew it had to be some sort of bomb, some sort of terrorist attack,” she said.
The Patch reports that two Maryland Heights entrants have reportedly been found safe:
- Janet Johnson and Donna Vetter.
Larry Dill, 53, of Olivette, had picked up his bag from baggage claim and was talking to his wife on his cell phone when the explosions went off.
A lot of runners didn’t have cell phones with them, he pointed out; he said he was lucky enough to have gotten his from baggage claim just in time.
Tom Wall, Wentzville, said he was about a quarter mile from the finish line.
“It was pretty intense — thousands of people along the streets, going crazy,” he said. “The road just backed up all of a sudden. The runners all stopped.”
Then, he said, it went from pandemonium to a sense something really drastic had happened.
“At that point, you knew people had lost their lives.”
A list published by ESPN shows a listing of the Missouri runners, their rank and finish time. The blasts happened 4 hours, 9 minutes and 45 seconds after the starting gun, meaning a handful of Missourians were near the finish line or had just crossed it when the explosions rocked the crowd.
Missourinet has not learned of any Missourians being injured at this time, but will continue to post information compiled from various news sources.