NBC10.com - Ted Greenberg
A New Jersey woman running her fourth Boston Marathon and an Atlantic County son cheering on his mom witnessed the explosions. NBC10's Ted Greenberg reports details from their experiences.
Runners from throughout the Philadelphia area participating in the 2013 Boston Marathon Monday were stunned when explosions shook the finish line, killing 3, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring more than 130 people.
Larissa Binkley, 33, of Coatesville, Pa. had crossed the finish line and was walking with a friend when she heard a distinct boom.
“I was only about a half block away… we heard a loud sound,” Binkley told NBC10.com.
What Binkley likely heard was the first of what police are saying was two explosions that went off near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race.
“About 20 seconds later there was another loud sound and then I looked up and I just saw smoke coming out of the building and people were just dropping everything they had and just started running full steam the opposite direction of the building.”
According to authorities, the first explosion occurred just before 4 p.m. That blast sent spectators, competitors and volunteers crying as they fled, some bloodied, to nearby tents that were set up for runners.
Binkley ran across a bridge and was still trying to figure out what happened when she spoke to us.
“People were going a little crazy, people were running full steam away, I hear ambulances and helicopters,” she said.
Binkley said she hadn’t notice anything unusual when she crossed the finish line in a time of 3:11:01.
Philadelphia resident Morgan Little said she just finished the race when the explosion took place.
"I'm OK," she wrote to NBC10.com via Facebook messenger.
Little explained that she heard and saw the blasts.
"I was getting my clothes at the shuttle bus and I heard the boom," she wrote. "I looked up and saw a huge could of smoke."
The 27-year-old wrote it was "terrifying, I immediately thought it was a bombing."
Local running companies scrambled to find out if their runners were safe.
Philadelphia Runners at 16th and Samson in Center City had anywhere from 15 to 20 "close friends" in Boston, ranging from runners to sales reps who were entertaining clients, says Outreach Director Ryan Callahan.
"Everyone is OK...they are mostly communicating through text messaging," Callahan said.
The Bryn Mawr Running Company had two employees in the race and several customers. The two workers are OK, according to a woman with the company and the other runners also appear to be fine.
TJ at the Haddonfield Running Company said his workers have been checking the times of people they know online to make sure they have finished. As of now, everyone they've checked is OK.
Michele Wellington from Barnegat Light also ran today. She has texted her family to say that she's okay.
Those with ties to the Philadelphia area who were not participating in the race were also impacted by the incidents.
Oreland, Pa, native Brett Barthelmeh works two blocks from the blast.
"I heard it and felt it" he told NBC10.com. "I got the heck out of there as quickly as possible."
Callie Moriarty, a senior at Penn, ran the race. She texted us about the chaos as she was trying to touch with other members of the team.
"Everybody running, blood, limbs, scared people and now everyone's evacuating," she said at 3:56 p.m.
Lara Maggs, a Penn student from Boston, did not run, but she lives a block away from the explosion site.
"All I know is that people were running down the street covered in blood. People were giving their belts out as tourniquets," she said.
The race is a popular one for runners from around the world. This year there were 99 runners from Philadelphia, 10 from Wilmington and 1 from Trenton. From across the state there were 990 runners from Pennsylvania, 563 from New Jersey and 48 from Delaware.