BOMBS EXPLODE AT BOSTON MARATHON
- Video: Explosion heard as dramatic manhunt in Boston bombing unfolds live
- Video: Raw video: Scene moments after Boston explosions
- Photos: Reaction to arrest of Boston Marathon bombing suspect
- Photos: The Tsarnaev brothers
- Photos: 1 suspect dead; Boston Marathon bombing manhunt
- Photos: Suspects in the Boston explosions
- Photos: Aftermath of Boston Marathon Explosions
- Photos: Explosions at Boston Marathon
Search for suspects:
- Police: Boston bomb suspect in serious condition
- Social media reports on Boston Marathon bombing suspect in custody
- Cracking the case: How photos forced the suspects' move, breaking the bombing case
- Live coverage: Manhunt in Boston
- The stories of 2 brothers suspected in the Boston bombings
- Bombing probe highlights expansion of surveillance
- Boston suspects' father: A true angel
- Boston Marathon bombing suspect manhunt: Militants from Chechnya
Boston Marathon blasts:
- Local runner recalls kindness, generosity of Bostonians after bombings
- Live blog by Boston Globe: Explosions at the Boston marathon
- Social media reports on Boston Marathon explosions
- Boston blasts: 3 killed, at least 130 hurt
- Obama: Boston culprits to feel 'weight of justice'
- Southwest Florida runners report on the scene from Boston
- Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers' managing editor shares thoughts about his Boston Marathon experience
Naples resident Lori Caras was .2 miles away from finishing her second Boston Marathon when a bomb exploded 400 yards from where she was running.
“There is a side street that runs behind the buildings/restaurants on Boylston (Street) and everyone (runners included) all turned and looked down that alley way,” she wrote in an email. “I heard people screaming and thought, ‘Did someone just shoot someone else?’ But I quickly dismissed that thought because the noise was too loud to be a gun and that could NEVER happen on Marathon Monday. Not on Patriot’s Day — the happiest day in Massachusetts. Everyone is joyful today.”
But the joy on Monday turned to terror as two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race, killing three people and injuring 176. Officials have identified brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, 19, as suspects in the bombing. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed Thursday night in a shoot out with police. Dzokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended Friday evening.
When she turned on Boylston Street, which is the last leg of the marathon, Caras the finish line was obscured by smoke.
“It made no sense to me. Then the second bomb exploded and the noise was incredible,” she wrote. “The man running in front of me was very tall; he stopped instantly, turned around and spread his arms into a huge wingspan and yelled, ‘STOP!’ I did.”
Standing on the street, Caras started to take in the smoke, the screaming, the police running. Police began pulling barriers behind Caras, so that no other runners could access the street.
“I know they are trained for emergencies, but it’s incredible to see them ‘in action,’” she wrote. “They all seemed to know just where to go and what to do.”
An officer telling her to move snapped her out of her immobile stance, she said. Having run 26 miles, Caras, 41, had a long walk ahead of her and was exhausted. In the 51 degree weather, and dressed in running shorts and a sweaty tank top, she was also cold.
“Dozens of strangers approached my crying, freezing person and offered help, many even offered me the coats off their backs. ... A girlfriend I was with jumped into an open store and bought us some sweatshirts,” she wrote.
The two women walked miles until they found a cab that took them to a friend’s home in Wellesly, which is west of Boston.
But Caras, a stay-at-home mother of three boys, had to go back to the scene of the bombing. At the start of the marathon, runners are allowed to check a bag of belongings that they pick up at the finish line. Runners like Caras who did not finish, could not retrieve their belongings on Monday, but could pick them up the next day, she said.
“When I looked down the street, I realized I was about .2 miles from where I needed to go. So at THAT moment, I finished what I had started in Hopkinton 24 hours before. And I could not have asked for a better marathon finish,” she wrote. “As I slowly limped along the ‘course’ I was stopped every few feet by other runners who were there for the same reason. We exchanged hugs and tears at the end of MY marathon I was warmly greeted by our courageous National Guard and Boston Marathon officials who embraced me and placed a medal around my neck.”
Caras said it was the longest .2 miles a Boston Marathoner has probably ever traveled and the dash was not joyous. While she said a piece of her heart will remain with the victims of the tragedy forever on Boylston Street, she will also never forget how wonderful the Bostonians were.
“Despite this cowardly act of evil, the goodness, the kindness and heartfelt generosity of people comforted me as I walked out of the city of Boston on shaking, weak legs,” she wrote. “It was, once again, MY marathon. Someone tried to take it from me (from US) but, in that moment, I reclaimed it. ... I am a runner. A proud Boston Marathon runner.”