BOSTON — Lima runner Sara Anderson left the Boston Marathon about 10 minutes before Monday’s deadly explosion. She didn't know disaster had struck until friends and family started calling to make sure she was OK.
“Our phones were exploding with messages and calls and we did not know what was going on until we turned on the TV,” Anderson said. Her husband, Ben, was in Boston watching Sara run her first Boston Marathon.
Sara Anderson finished the race about an hour before the explosions. Her running partner, Amy Morrisey, finished about 30 minutes later.
Amy's husband, Jim Morrisey, said she was in the changing facility two blocks away when it happened. Amy immediately called him back in Lima.
“It was still new to her. She did not know what was going on,”Jim Morrisey said. “She said she heard the booms and wanted to call and let me know she was safe. At the time, there was no news on it. I was not able to relay to her that there was serious stuff going on.”
Morrisey said he hadn’t been able to talk much to his wife, who ran the marathon two years ago.
“Cell phones are pretty much jammed out there, and transportation is shut down,” he said. “They are trying to make their way back to their van so they can get back to their hotel safely. It is a 12- to 15-mile walk.”
Amy Morrisey is in Boston with her son and sister. Morrisey works at Health Partners of Western Ohio.
Sara Anderson, a teacher at Lima Senior High School, didn’t know what had happened until she got back to her hotel and turned on the television. She continued watching throughout the afternoon.
“It is crazy and surreal,” she said. “We are just really thankful we were out of there before anything happened. It just seems really chaotic.”
Anderson is scheduled to leave Boston this afternoon and hopes she will still be able to.
“I feel so bad for all the people,” she said. “Many runners’ life goal is to run the Boston Marathon, and to have it happen right as you are finishing or before you finish, it would just be devastating. It is just devastating for the people injured.”
Matt Schluneker, of Elida, was registered to run. He canceled because of a stress fracture. His mother, Jan, said the family were planning to attend but were “counting their blessings” about the change of plans.
Other area runners who were registered to run include Craig Leon, formerly of Van Wert, who placed 10th; Chad Beechboard, of Leipsic; Nancy Haines, Heidi Kiesel, Catherine Meier and Christopher Roberts, all of Findlay; and Bill Roy II, of Celina.
Boston Marathon explosion