By John Ruch, Rebeca Oliveira and Peter Shanley/Gazette Staff
Local runners and spectators of yesterday’s Boston Marathon have begun reporting in with tales of shock and horror from its bombing. So far, there are no reports of anyone local being injured.
Harry Smith, the president of the JP Regan Youth League, ran the Marathon to raise funds for that youth baseball program. In an email last night, Smith said his wife and daughter were supposed to be awaiting him at the finish line, where a bomb went off, but decided to stop for ice cream first and thus avoided the attack. Smith himself was about a half-mile from the finish line.
“It was a scary and tragic end to one of Boston’s most joyful events,” Smith wrote. “My mind is filled with ‘what if’ scenarios and also with sadness at the people who were killed or injured while doing nothing more than watching the end of a road race.”
Smith said all of his friends who also ran or volunteered at the race are OK.
“My disappointment at not being able to finish the race pales in comparison to my gratitude that my family and friends are safe and my sadness about this tragedy that will forever change the Marathon and our city,” Smith wrote. “I hope everyone hugs their loved ones tonight.”
City Councilor Mike Ross, who represents part of Hyde Square and is a mayoral candidate, said in a email last night that he was watching the race on Boylston Street when the bombs went off along that street.
Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in JP was in a “lockdown” yesterday but is open as normal today, according to spokesperson David Goldberg. He said some Faulkner employees ran in the marathon for various charities and there were no reports of any of them being injured, but he had not spoken to everyone yet.
Community Servings, a JP nonprofit that delivers meals to seriously ill people, did not have a team running in the marathon this year, but did have several longtime volunteers who ran to support other charities, according to Community Servings development and communications vice president Tim Leahy, who said those runners are all OK. Leahy noted that because the bombings happened late in the race, they were more likely to affect the amateur runners who support charities.
Everyone on a team of runners supporting the Franklin Park Coalition and their families are “safe in body, if not in spirit,” Executive Director Christine Poff said in an email today.
A runner supporting the JP-based Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) was in the race at the time of the blast but was not injured, according to an MSPCA spokesperson.