Bombings at Boston Marathon generate local impact
Updated: Tuesday, April 16 2013, 10:50 PM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Dozens of the runners in Monday's marathon were from West Michigan--many close enough to see and feel the blast.
Newschannel 3 talked to one woman whose husband has been training for the marathon for a very long time, but he never crossed the finish line.
When the explosions happened, he was about a mile-and-a-half from the finish.
But his focus soon changed to finding his wife.
As runners crossed the finish line Monday in Boston, Robin Smith from Spring Lake waited anxiously for her husband--until a blast pierced the air.
"All of a sudden it just...this explosion just went off," Smith recalled. "Everybody just started screaming and started running and people were saying go this direction, go that direction."
Jan Drake of Kalamazoo was also near the finish line at the time.
They described mass confusion as the crowd struggled to understand what had happened.
Smith says she started walking away, without a clue as to where her husband was.
"I just kept thinking in my head, trying to be calm, but then thinking what if the building next to me is going to blow up or something," Smith said. "You have this 9/11 fear of what's next."
Eventually, her husband called.
"He called me and said 'I'm safe,' and I heard his voice and I burst into tears and he said 'start walking. sorry,'" recalled Smith.
She wasn't the only one waiting to hear back from family and friends either.
The Kalamazoo Area Runners began checking in on Facebook, making note of who they'd heard from and who was missing.
Overall, Smith says it's an event that will forever be a part of her.
"I can't even imagine how long this will take for it to go away," she said. "It's something I won't soon forget, if I ever forget."
Now, Smith says the one bright spot in her day, was the kindness of strangers.
One family in Boston let her into their home, let her charge, her phone, and helped her locate her husband.