Naperville resident Kim Scott had finished her 11th marathon and claimed her medal not even ten minutes before two explosions shook the earth beneath her feet at the Boston Marathon.
“We heard these big cannons going off and these girls were like ‘It’s a bomb! It’s a bomb,’ and we’re all like ‘Yeah, really,’” said Scott. “And then when you look down the street and you see the smoke coming off the high rise and all the people running down the street, it was like something off a movie set.”
Except it was really happening and everyone was told to evacuate the area, uncertain of what would happen next.
“It felt like it was so near that bombs were going to go off any second and when they were saying evacuate, they definitely alarmed that, ‘Oh gosh, is one going to go off here in a minute,” said Scott.
Meanwhile James Ostrenga, a cardiologist at Edward Hospital, was less than a mile from the finish line when he was told he couldn’t finish the race.
“Suddenly the runners in front of me had stopped and I stopped too and there was a policeman there and he had pulled up and stopped all the runners on the race course and he wasn’t telling us anything but we couldn’t continue down the race court,” said Ostrenga.
It wasn’t until he called his wife, who was watching the events unfold from the hotel room because of a leg injury, that he found out it was a bomb that caused officials to end the race.
“My emotions initially were I was upset cause I didn’t finish the race but then quickly turned to feeling empty and just terribly disappointed with the whole deal. This was just recreational runners out there, most of them doing something they’ve worked and train for all their lives and the spectators cheering them on. These were just every day people. Why would something like this happen?” said Ostrenga.
Benet Academy teacher and Naperville resident Kevin Renicker was also watching the news from his hotel room after finishing the race. He says while the attack is a tragedy, no explosions, no matter how powerful, could shatter the spirit of the running community.
“It was one of the, if not the greatest marathon out there. The town of Boston and all the communities leading up to it were so supportive,” said Renicker. “This doesn’t define us. They don’t get to win. We’ll be back and we’re going to run it just as strong and fast as ever and nothing stops us runners.”
A moment of silence and flags at half-mass – Naperville offered these couple of simple gestures to pay respect to the victims of the attack. The Naperville Running Company will be one of many stores nationwide to host a “Runners for Boston” 5K on Monday, April 22nd at 6:30pm.
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