Reports from Ann Arbor area runners at the Boston Marathon
AP Photo | Charles Krupa
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A number of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County residents were registered to run Monday in the Boston Marathon, where two explosions reportedly killed two people and injured more than 130 others near the finish line Monday afternoon.
Google has started a "Person Finder" database to help people share information regarding people's whereabouts in the aftermath of the explosion at the Boston Marathon.
The last runners crossed the finish line at about 2:57 p.m. Monday, the Boston Globe reported.
As the story continues to develop, we'll post updates from local participants here as we get them.
8:45 p.m.: Gregory King, 29, of Ann Arbor finished the race in 3:18:20, about 1:20 p.m. He and his family were in a car driving out of Boston when he heard about the explosions.
“It’s definitely a little bit of a shock and a little scary knowing I was right there,” King said.
King ran the Red, White and Blue Marathon in Findlay, Ohio to qualify for the Boston marathon. On Monday, he completed his fourth marathon and he said he’d never given a thought to his personal safety.
However, all of that changed Monday.
“It’ll be in the back of my mind,” he said.
John Maxey, 32, finished the marathon in 2:57:12 and was done with the race at 12:58 p.m. Maxey flew back to Michigan Monday afternoon and he was in his hotel room when the explosions went off.
The University of Michigan graduate student — he’s studying business administration — managed to make it back to Ann Arbor in time for the second half of his finance class Monday night.
“I’m still kind of reeling from it all - my wife and child could have been right there if they’d come to the race this year,” Maxey said in an email. “It was my third Boston. So unfortunate that some idiot did this, and chose our event.”
After finishing 40 minutes before the two explosions on Boylston Street, Chelsea Holt, 25, was looking for family members when the bombs went off. Her family had been standing near the area of the explosion but had left the area.
“I was searching for my family when I heard the explosions, but luckily they had just left the finish area to come meet me so we were all safe,” she said in an email from Boston. “I can’t believe that this has all happened and I hope that everybody from our Ann Arbor community is safe as well.”
7 p.m.: Marne Smiley, a 2005 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, participated in the first wave of the race that started at 10 a.m. and she finished shortly after 1 p.m.
Smiley was in her Marriot Hotel room located about a half a mile from where the bombs went out when she heard the commotion and saw what was going on.
Smiley said the entire group of 87 individuals she participated in the race with are safe and accounted for.
“One of them was getting her medal when the first bomb went off,” Smiley said. “She had just crossed Everyone I came here with is with me. I was very worried.”
Smiley said law enforcement agencies have evacuated everyone from the Marriot Hotel except her group because they were located in a VIP area within the hotel.
“We’re not allowed to leave and we can’t even leave the room at this point,” Smiley said. “Public transit is still down. The streets are completely empty.”
Smiley said the internet and phone connections are still spotty throughout the Boston area. Smiley said she isn’t sure of when she’ll be able to return to her home in Chicago.
“It’s not looking promising right now,” she said. “They’re still finding bombs.”
Smiley said what happened at the race has left her and other participants shell-shocked.
“It’s a little discombobulating,” Smiley told AnnArbor.com. “This should be a joyous event. It’s a lot of people’s dream to come here and for it to be marred like this Our bodies are hurting right now, but my heart is hurting even more right now.”
Smiley said she’s been able to reach her family and friends to let them know she’s okay.
“Luckily I’ve been able to call everyone I needed to,” she said. “My poor mom was very worried. Once I called her she burst into tears.”
6:10 p.m.: Randy Step, owner of Ann Arbor’s Running Fit, said he’s slowly getting reports from his friends and staff members who were running the marathon. Step — who’s extremely active in the running community and has run the Boston Marathon three times — said he knows more than a dozen runners there.
“There are lots of friends of mine who run it every year,” he said. “I’m getting text messages every five minutes asking, ‘Hey, are you at Boston?’”
Step didn’t run the Boston race this year because Running Fit was hosting its own race in Dearborn.
“As a race director, I thought right away, ‘What did they do with people on the course? How quickly did they get them off the course?’” he said.
Step coordinates and directs races, and he said he’s usually making alternate plans for weather situations, but never explosions or attacks. He said marathon races are usually very “controlled” environments with police and medical responders already on the scene.
“It’s such a crowd-controlled situation,” he said. “I feel so bad for this whole thing.”
He said most of his staff members would have finished the race before the explosions.
6:05 p.m.: Aaron Kosel, 23, of Ann Arbor ran the marathon and his brother, Isaac, 26, went to Boston as well for the Monday event. Their mother, Stephanie Kosel, of Ann Arbor, received a text message from her son almost immediately after the explosion:
"The first I heard at 2:57, my son Isaac sent a text message to my phone saying something has happened in Boston. Aaron and I are OK. I texted them back and I haven't gotten any answer."
Aaron Kosel finished the race about 1 p.m. Monday and posted the following on Facebook:
"I was two blocks away and I and everyone I was with are OK. That said, they evacuated people and it looks pretty bad."
6 p.m.: Danie Matusik, 41, of Chelsea, finished the race with a time of 3:50:52. She is safe and reportedly trying to make her way out of Boston, according to Facebook posts.
5:36 p.m.: Ann Arbor District Library employee Nancy Damm, 46, of Ann Arbor, has not been injured in the incident, according to the library administrator. Damm finished the race in 4:07:45, which was close to the time of the explosion.
5:20 p.m.: Jason Colthorp, anchor at Lansing television station WILX News 10, tweeted Ann Arbor runner Scott Loewe, 33, and his wife, Leslie Loewe, were both OK and uninjured.
Former MSU student Leslie Loewe and husband Scott are OK and uninjured following explosions at #bostonmarathon.— Jason Colthorp (@JasonColthorp) April 15, 2013
Burns Park Run organizers Joel Dalton, 45, and Jackie Dalton, 45, both of Ann Arbor have communicated via email that they are not injured and are safe.
5:05 p.m.: Tony Wisniewski, 45, of Ypsilanti who ran in the race, posted on his Facebook that he's alright.
He said: "We all (are) fine. Thanks for asking, now let's pray for those affected."
His wife, Meera Wisniewski, also shared on Facebook: "We left the finish line at 2:30. The explosion happened at 3. You will not believe but we were standing right where the explosion happened. It was so crowded there. Very sad what happened. I am still shaken up."
4:50 p.m.: James Kasten, a 24-year-old Ann Arbor resident who participated in the marathon, confirmed via text message that he and his family are uninjured.
He said his family was viewing the race from where the explosion went off, but they had already left the race when the explosion occurred.
Ann Arbor photographer Kelley Kozloff, 36, finished the race approximately 20 minutes before the explosions. She and her husband Ken were both in Copley Square at the time of the blasts.
“We were in Copley Square and heard the explosions and saw the smoke,” Ken Kozloff said in a text message Monday. “Stayed at the recovery tent less than a block from finish for probably 15 to 20 minutes and then walked back to our place.”
Ann Arbor resident Adrian A. Carnie, 41, was running in the race and was not injured in the explosion, according to a family member.
Chelsea-area resident Roy Schmidt, 50, told the Chelsea Standard Monday that he was two blocks from the explosions.
"The explosions were about two blocks in front of me," Schmidt said via text message Monday, the Chelsea Standard reported. "I am still a little bit in shock ... there must be 100 ambulances lined up."
4:42 p.m.: Marne Smiley, a 2005 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, ran in the Boston Marathon and was not injured in the incident, she communicated with AnnArbor.com via Facebook.
The official Twitter account of the University of Michigan Women's soccer team tweeted about the status of two alumni who ran the marathon:
We can confirm that both Emily and Kristin are OK after running the Boston Marathon today. Thoughts are with all involved.— Michigan Soccer (@umichwsoccer) April 15, 2013
Congrats to soccer alums Emily Kalmbach (3:35:59) and Kristin Thomas (3:23:11) on finishing the Boston Marathon! #GoBlue— Michigan Soccer (@umichwsoccer) April 15, 2013
4:36 p.m.: Gianna Lete, 43, of Ann Arbor, a wellness coach and health educator at the Ann Arbor YMCA, and her family including husband Eric Straka, 46, are uninjured, according to information Lete posted on Facebook, said Mike Fitzsimmons, vice president of operations of the YMCA.
Marie Wolfgram-Morgan of PR Fitness, also shared on Facebook Monday afternoon that she and her husband Rob Morgan, 47, who ran in the race are fine and well, Fitzsimmons said.
A number of other PR Fitness runners are in the Boston Marathon, Fitzsimmons said.
4:25 p.m.: Saline resident Kathy Renberg, 50, was running in the race and she and her husband Paul and their daughter - who were at the race to watch Kathy run - were not injured in the explosion.
Renberg’s son, Nick Renberg is a member of the University of Michigan track and field team and, according to a team representative, Nick was able to get a hold of his family shortly after news of the explosion broke and get an update on their status. The Renbergs are back at their hotel in Boston according to the Michigan spokesperson.
4:09 p.m.: Though Dr. Richard Ohye, 49, a cardiologist for the Unviersity of Michigan Health System, and his wife, Bonita, 44, are listed on the registrant’s page for the Boston Marathon, they did not run the race Monday and are not in the city, said Mary Masson, spokeswoman for UMHS.
Aliana Case, 30, of Ann Arbor ran the marathon with Ryan Case, 32, of Ann Arbor and shared on her Facebook page the following:
“Ryan and I and the family are all OK. Waiting to hear news — its a little scary here right now.”
"We heard both explosions but we were 4 blocks from the explosion. Sirens have been going off and by us for the last hour black SUVS ambulances etc. we've been in a park"
3:54 p.m.: Ann Arbor Board of Education Vice President Christine Stead, 41, told AnnArbor.com via text message that she was out of the area before it happened.
“Very scary,” Stead said via text. “This will change all marathons. A lot of areas are closed off and likely will remain that way for a while. I don’t know what they are doing with the remaining runners.”
3:51 p.m.: Dr. John Farah, 69, an Ann Arbor dentist, and his wife Jackie are both fine, according to Farah’s office and his ex-wife Gretchen Farah.
Gretchen Farah said she immediately emailed Jackie Farah after hearing about the explosions and said she was relieved to hear they were both OK. John Farah was running in the race and Jackie Farah was there as a spectator.
Online records show Farah was near the 24-mile mark at 2:46 p.m. According to initial reports, the explosions occurred at 2:44 p.m.
“Even if you’re fine, which thank God they are, it’s still very traumatic,” Gretchen Farah said.
Phone calls to Boston had a hard time going through, and Gretchen Farah said her communication with John and Jackie was brief in order to save cellphone battery.
3:45 p.m.: Downtown business owner and advocate Ellie Serras is not injured, a representative with Main Street Ventures confirmed.
AnnArbor.com reporters Kyle Feldscher, Lizzy Alfs, Ben Freed, Katrease Stafford and Pete Cunningham contributed to this report.