BOSTON – This is usually a day of joy.
Runners, their friends and family, walk Boylston Street proudly wearing the medal of the just completed marathon.
But today, was different.
The street was blocked off. Bystanders described it as “eerie” or “too quiet.” In fact, many people came to Boylston just to watch, say a prayer, or lay some flowers.
It was here on Marathon Monday, when local leaders believe a terrorist unleashed two bombs on unsuspecting spectators, killing three people and injuring dozens more.
“I felt this huge compression,” said Bob Cremin, of Mercer Island, as he strolled the marathon course on Tuesday. “And the second went off, and I said, no, no, it’s the real thing. It’s a sequence.”
Cremin had just finished running the race. His friend Carole Ellison was on the side, cheering him on, and says she was probably 100 feet away from the explosion.
“I heard this enormous sound. It reverberated off the buildings,” said Ellison, a Kirkland native. “Every time I talk about it, I get tears in my eyes, because it’s so awful.”
The Boston Marathon is a destination event. You have to qualify in order to race. That’s why so many runners take great strides, and pride, in being in it.
“It’s unreal. It’s a family event,” said Bob Martin of Hoquiam, part of the Marathon Maniacs group. This was his seventh Boston marathon.
“It makes me angry, that people will think that way, that there are evil people in the world,” said Martin.
Patti Crookshank, of Snohomish, crossed the finish line just prior to the dual explosions.
“There was a huge cloud of smoke,” said the veteran marathoner. Her husband had been standing to the side of the course as well.
“Innocent children. Spectators were hurt. I don’t even like to think about it,” she said.
Crookshank says she couldn’t use her cell phone for hours because of the transmission restrictions in Boston.
She proudly wore her medal on Tuesday, and says she will cherish it as it related to her other Boston souvenirs.
“It means a lot more. It means I survived it.”
The Boston Athletic Association did give out medals to the runners who could not finish the race because of the explosion.