Local nurse finished Boston Marathon just before explosionsWritten by Don Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A ProMedica Flower Hospital nurse and her friend from Tecumseh had just finished running the Boston Marathon when two explosions ripped through the finish-line crowds.
A friend, watching from the sidelines, left the area before the first explosion went off — and narrowly escaped walking right into the second one.
Tina Waynick of Adrian, Mich., who was running the marathon for the second time, crossed the finish line at 3:54:55, and made her way past the post-finish-line gantlet toward the bus where runners kept their clothes. She heard the first explosion and police sirens a block away, before being ushered away from the scene.
Meanwhile, her friend Becky Baumer, of North Baltimore, Ohio, had left the viewing area an hour before and was waiting at the hotel for her friends. She was in the lobby when she heard the first explosion. Because she was prevented from going outside, she said, she was not caught in the second blast, right by the hotel.
Two bombs, reportedly fashioned from pressure cookers and filled with black powder, nails and pellets, exploded seconds apart, killing three people and injuring more than 175.
“People were running in different directions,” Baumer said. “Nobody knew where to go but we knew we had to go somewhere.”
Baumer said she saw a woman approaching police officers who was covered in blood; the officers were trying to determine whether the blood was hers or was from someone else they needed to find and help.
It was maybe 30 minutes, Baumer said, before she met up with Waynick’s fellow runner, whom she knows only as Jill. According to the Boston Marathon’s website, Jill Stockford from Tecumseh crossed the finish line at 3:39:45. Stockford could not be reached for comment.)
“I finally heard Jill say my name and I broke down and cried,” Baumer said. “When you’re in a room full of people but nobody who you know is there, you’re alone.”
Ten minutes after that, Waynick found the two of them.
The hotel was brimming with city police, FBI, Homeland Security and National Guard people, all responding to what’s been called an “act of terrorism.” No known terror group has claimed responsibility and authorities aren’t sure whether the perpetrators are foreign or homegrown.
“It’s like something you see in the movies or on TV,” Waynick said. “Not something you think you will be a part of.”
Once back at the hotel, Waynick said, the people in charge were reluctant to let anyone leave.
Once they were allowed out, they were told they wouldn’t be allowed back in.
Basically, Baumer said, they took a chance they would be able to make it out of the city.
The threesome walked a mile to get to their car, then navigated around blocked-off roads to get out of Boston for the drive home.
Despite the death and heartbreak, Waynick said she wants to run the marathon again.
It’s a sentiment echoed by many runners and the organizers of other races. Already the organizers of races from London — whose marathon is planned for April 21 — to Toledo, where the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon is slated for April 28, have said their races will go on, albeit with more attention paid to security.
“It’s heartbreaking for me to think somebody could be so evil” as to plant and set bombs at such an event, Waynick said. Running again, she said, would be her way of affirming the bomber didn’t take a part of her life away.
Baumer found her own little bit of normality to sustain her on their way out of Boston.
When they reached the parking garage where their car was stashed, they met a young couple who had run in the marathon. He was in a tuxedo and she was in a white dress, both adorned with their running medals, getting married by a fountain.
“It’s just nice to know,” Baumer said, “that normal things are still going on for normal people.”
Other Adrian runners
Two other runners from Adrian crossed the finish line well ahead of the bomb blasts.
One, Sarah Kasabian Larson, said she and another runner heard a noise as they were walking away from the finish line but “it didn’t register” until they got back to their hotel — the Park Plaza, close to the finish line — and saw news of the bomb blast on the room TV. She was on the phone with her husband, James, back in Adrian when she heard the news.
“This is devastating this could happen on a day when people get together to celebrate the runners’ journeys,” said Larson, a former Adrian College assistant cross country coach who is now a financial aid counselor for the college. This was her fourth Boston Marathon.
A third Adrian runner, Ryan Sieler, crossed the finish line at 3:32:11, according to the Boston Marathon web site. Sieler could not be reached for comment.