Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 15, 2013

URGENT: Two local runners describe scene at Boston Marathon

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

---- — With explosions at the finish lines, two local runners in the Boston Marathon said what started as a normal run descended into chaos.

"It's still hysteria," said Patty Jansen at about 3:30 p.m. Monday. The Effingham resident finished the marathon 20 minutes before the bombs at the finish line detonated. "I was walking through the park and some security people grabbed me and said 'I'm so glad you're OK.'"

Jansen, who ran the marathon with her friend, Barbara Ambuehl of Kinmundy, had been told to stay in their room after police told them to leave the lobby of the Omni Parker Hotel. Jansen said Ambuehl was behind her in the race and personally felt the impact of the blast.

"She was about a half hour behind me, so as soon as I found out, I was worried," she said. "She said she heard it and felt the impact of it. They stopped all the runners that hadn't finished and there were thousands of runners."

Michael Brummer, also of Effingham, said he was one of the many runners stopped and redirected after the explosion.

"I was running a slow race until I came under this overpass," he said. "As I was running toward that area, I noticed all the runners had stopped and just a few minutes before that, all the police escorts had rushed ahead of us."

Brummer said he was stopped for around an hour before being able to return to pick up his clothes and race supplies. While he waited, he said he learned about what had happened at the finish line.

"I had people in front of me who had their cellphones and said there had been two explosions," he said. "We didn't know what was happening. People came out of their apartments with garbage bags for us to put on to warm up because it was getting really cold. The runners were all pretty shook up."

Both Jansen and Brummer said they were fine but had trouble calling out of the city to get in contact with friends and family. However, they were able to receive text messages and other forms of communication.

"There's crazy texts and Facebook messages and all that coming in but I can't answer all of them," Jansen said. "We're safe and hoping nothing else happens out there."

Brummer said the explosions have brought his thoughts back to home.

"I'm glad I live in Effingham County," he said.