Iowa Runners Describe Boston Marathon Scene as "Terrifying" & "Hectic"

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Worry took over as Eastern Iowans waited to hear from friends and family at the Boston Marathon.

The marathon website shows at least 158 Iowans registered to run the marathon. It was a frustrating afternoon for some as they tried everything from Facebook to cell phones to get ahold of runners or spectators in the crowd.

"The phones are going straight to voice mail,” said Running Wild Manager Jim Dwyer.

Dwyer tried his best to work his shift at Running Wild on Monday, but knowing that a handful of his closest running friends were in Boston, made it tough.

"It's a shock to find out about the story," Dwyer said. "It's even more shocking when you know people who were right there."

Slowly, marathon runners were able to return calls. Some Iowans were very close to the blasts.

"It was very hectic, lots of sirens, lots of fire trucks, lots of police cars,” said Keith Duster.

The Solon runner was staying at a hotel at the finish line. He said he was in his room about an hour after he crossed the finish line and felt the building shake when the explosions went off. Then he decided to leave the downtown area.

"Many people were moving away from the area, some obviously distraught,” Duster said.

Sam Houston of Cedar Rapids was just blocks away from explosions after he finished running. He said he looked back to see the smoke billowing into the air.

"I still have in my mind all of the faces of the folks that would have been around there, that are embedded in my mind," Houston said. "So, that in itself, I think, is scary and a little emotional."

Some thought the explosions were cannons going off for the state holiday.

"I quickly realized that wasn't the case and something terribly wrong was happening,” said Cedar Rapids runner Thomas Wolle.

It was a terrifying situation that marathoners know will forever run through their minds as much different story than they expected.

"It won't be a great memory looking back,” Wolle said.

Runners all said they wanted to share their thoughts and prayers with those families of runners who were hurt. There's been no word on any injuries to Iowans at the marathon.
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