FROM BOSTON TO OKC
The bombers interrupted countless lives and prevented some marathoners from finishing the race.
About a half dozen runners will finish the Boston Marathon during the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. They will run the entire Oklahoma City marathon. They include:
• Milwaukee Police Inspector Carianne Yerkes made it 25.9 miles before she was forced to quit. Yerkes and her husband Milwaukee Police Sgt. Rick Yerkes will both run in Oklahoma City.
• Andrew Longoria, of Medway, Mass., was 300 yards from the finish line. He has completed about 15 marathons. This was his sixth Boston Marathon.
• Chau and Michael Smith, of Oak Grove, Mo., Chau was about a mile from the finish line when she had to quit. They will both run in Oklahoma City.
At the finish line, the Boston Marathon runners will receive an Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon medal and finisher’s T-shirt.
Michael Smith said he was about a hundred yards away from the course when the first bomb detonated.
“I thought it was either a cannon or a bomb,” he said, noting firing a cannon would have been out of place for the marathon. “I deduced pretty quickly that it was a bomb sound.”
When the second bomb detonated, people were running away from the course while he kept going toward it. Police were moving people away from the affected area.
“I was right there,” he said.
Smith said he soon received a text message from his wife, letting him know where she was and that she was OK. He had been following her progress through the Boston Marathon website. About 45 minutes later, they were reunited. A spectator had loaned her his phone and a sweatshirt to help her stay warm.
Smith said his wife was reading a post on the Internet when she learned about the Oklahoma City opportunity. He said it seems like the event, which honors victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, is the right thing to do.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.