From Colorado this year, 372 runners were able to finish the Boston Marathon. Some of those runners have shared their stories with Colorado Runner.
Robert Thayer and Jeana Thayer of Broomfield were among the last runners to be allowed to finish the race. They started in the second wave and crossed the finish line in 4:25:17 in 17,528th place. Of the 23,326 official starters, Boston Marathon results report that there are only 17,584 official finishers. The rest were stopped.
Robert said, “It’s hard to tell for sure but my wife and I were really close, anywhere from 100 to 200 feet away from the first explosion. We had just crossed the finish line and hadn’t made it to the water, medal, and food tables when it happened. I’m pretty tired and my wife and I still haven’t made it back to Colorado yet. Thank you to everyone who reached out to us. Jeana and I were between Dartmouth Street and the finish line, right next to the Old South Church, when the first one went off. We were unharmed and probably one of the last few to finish the 2013 race. I can’t be leave how close that was. I feel for the others who were much closer and I am surprised that more people weren’t hurt. This event will never be the same.
It’s taken a bit to really process what’s happened. If we were running three seconds slower per mile or had started with one of our friends in a coral further back, which we had considered, then our story would have been much different. We finished 17,527th and 17,528th, I’m not sure where the DNFs started, but I hope they find the courage and have the opportunity to come back and finish someday. The Boston Marathon is still and will always remain one of the greatest athletic events. Thanks again to everyone who contacted us after the event. We are really feeling loved right now.”
Dan Edstrom, 36, of Denver finished yesterday’s race in 2:38:11.
“I had finished the marathon and was back in my hotel with my friend. Our hotel was at the corner of Stuart and Clarendon, about two blocks from the finish line. We were chatting about the race when we heard what sounded like a shockwave and the hotel window rattled. We both looked out the window to see where the sound came from, but couldn’t see anything. After a few minutes, we decided to meet friends at a bar a few blocks away. We walked through the hotel lobby and I saw a female runner who was crying as she was being consoled by her husband. A television was on and the news had broken the story that an explosion had occurred at the finish line. We saw the video from the finish line and I immediately thought I should call my wife and let her know we were okay. We then walked to the bar and Stuart Street was filled with runners, police, race volunteers and spectators. Many runners were crying as they walked down the street and were being consoled by friends and family. Police cars and fire trucks were quickly making their way toward the area and the police had blocked off access to Boylston Street. At the bar, many people were gathered and watching the news on television. Everyone was glued to their phones as they tried to communicate with friends and family to let them know they were safe. At the same time, people were still reflecting on their races and were socializing about the race, so the mood was not entirely grim.
A short time later we headed back to the hotel and spent about an hour communicating with people via e-mail, Facebook and text messages to let everyone know we were okay. Afterward, we met a group of running friends for dinner. Several people were uncomfortable leaving their hotel, but I was happier meeting with friends to talk about our races and to discuss the explosions and what they meant for the victims, for Boston, and for the running community.
Despite offers from friends to leave the hotel and stay somewhere else, I stayed Monday night at the hotel and spent the evening talking with family about what had transpired. I woke up early the next morning to catch my flight back to Denver. Everything north of Stuart Street had been blocked off and Boylston was filled with flood lights and emergency response vehicles. The Copley train station was closed, so I walked East toward Arlington Street. At the corner of Boylston and Arlington, near the Boston Public Garden, a media area had been set up and there were media trucks, lights and staff filling the area. I was grateful that the public transit had been restored and that I was able to get back to Denver.”
Dan Verdi, 30, of Denver finished the Boston Marathon in 2:40:52. By the time the explosions occurred, he was meeting friends to talk about their races in a bar.
“This was my 8th consecutive Boston and each year brings a new set of memories. But this year will be filled with anger, confusion, and heartache. I usually race mornings are filled with jitters, and anxiousness but yesterday I awoke with a sense calmness, joy, and pride. I looked forward to seeing my family on the course and sharing ‘war’ stories with my running friends over post-race drinks. Those happy plans quickly changed as I was hunkered down in a bar trying to figure out what to do. I was about four blocks from the finish, but was safe underground. I was lucky to not be near the finish and to have not witnessed the carnage. I was able to get texts out to my wife and family, but phone calls were impossible. I safely re-united with them later in the evening; I’m thankful I was able to.
Yesterday’s events dishearten me. Whoever is responsible has raided the meaning of the innocence, comrade, and friendly competition of the Boston Marathon. As many have already said, this won’t stop us (runners and the community at large) from carrying on and coming back even stronger next year. This attack felt very personal. Even though I didn’t know anyone personally who was killed or injured, I feel as if it happened to my best running buddy. Runners are family and we protect each other. I feel helpless that I can’t help those affected.”
Steve Bremner, 58, of Manitou Springs ran the race in 3:53:58.
“I was about ten blocks from the finish line walking on the Boston Commons to my rental car. I didn’t hear or see any blasts, but I saw a lot of emergency vehicles driving to the scene. I finished the marathon at 2 p.p., 50 minutes before the bombs went off.
Running is intensely individual, but it’s also communal. We runners celebrate life and community, both of which are in full force in the Boston Marathon. Life and community will prevail over murder and mayhem.”
Tim Gentry, 50, of Castle Rock finished the race in 3:13:05.
“I would have to say that the overwhelming feeling I still have is ‘numb.’ Although very ill prepared for the marathon this year, I still went to the start line planning for this to be my last Boston and give it the “old college” try. The race had its usual pre-race excitement with all the fanfare, excitement of people who had been waiting/trying all their running lives “to be able to run Boston”. My run wasn’t great due to lack of preparation, but still held that normal sense of accomplishment that comes over you anytime you complete the marathon distance, so I was satisfied overall.
After returning to my hotel, the Hyatt about a half mile from the finish, to shower, my wife and I started back toward the commons area to grab something to eat before heading to the airport. On the way my phone rang and it was my oldest son asking if we were okay. When I replied sure, why… he said he had just seen a post on twitter that bombs had exploded at the finish line. At almost the same time emergency vehicles and sirens started screaming by. We walked into the restaurant and started watching the breaking news on TV. It was as if we were watching a horror movie. I really still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that someone actually did something like to this to all of those innocent people who were there to cheer, volunteer or run at one of the most pure and majestic events in all of the world.”