Local runners and families share reactions to Boston blasts - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local runners and families share reactions to Boston blasts


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Local runners share stories of close calls and chaos in Boston.

Some also reflect on years past when the race was not rocked by explosions.

"You're surrounded by spectators that are clapping for you and cheering for you because you've accomplished your goal of finishing the 26.2 miles," says Barbara McKinley from her home in Chippewa Falls.

McKinley is a six-time Boston finisher, but this year those feelings she describes changed in an instant.

That shift was a firsthand experience for husband and wife Kevin and Karen Drechsel from Eau Claire.

"So it kind of hit us right away once we got out of the subway station and realized what happened," says Kevin.

"All this yellow caution tape was around and there were all these police officers.  They were like, 'Go!  Evacuate!  Get off!'  They were just yelling at us," says Karen.

Thankfully they were safe.

"We were just there, we were just there.  I mean it was just minutes that we had just left and we were all very happy that we had made it out but we were just really sad that a lot of people didn't," says Karen.

Especially since Kevin had crossed the line some 20 minutes earlier.

"Knowing the feeling of where the bombs went off.  People were just so elated to be finishing and just knowing that they were so happy and the bomb went off right before they finished, that makes me feel horrible," says Kevin.

Kristy Olson of Altoona watched her husband Mike cross the finish line just 30 minutes before the explosions.

"I think it's hitting me really right now by the mass texts and e-mails that are coming in to me about people worried about us. Watching it on the news is just horrible, knowing how close we were and knowing people just like us, running and watching were affected by this. It's terrible. It's scary," says Kristy. 

It was also difficult for those back home in Wisconsin wondering if their friends had made it, for Barbara it was a meager six minutes separating her good friend from the finish line blast.

"To think that someone would sabotage that with bombs, it's unthinkable," says McKinley.

"I think my big word is that I'm mad.  I'm mad that it happened," says Kevin.

McKinley says runners are an optimistic bunch and she expects they will move on from this and still show up for Boston in 2014.





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