Local runners in Boston Marathon react to explosions
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- There were over 100 people from South Carolina entered in the 2013 Boston Marathon where two explosions rocked the finish line of the race, killing 2 and injuring over 20 others.
According to the Boston Marathon website, 135 South Carolinians entered, but only 119 started. The site says of those 119, only 97 finished the race.
Charleston City Council member Mike Seekings and College of Charleston graduate Nate Bergeron were slated to run in the marathon, but both stayed in the Lowcountry instead of making the trip to Boston.
Jacob Driggers and Bill Rowell both spoke with ABCNews4 Monday afternoon. Both men said they are safe in their hotel rooms.
Driggers said he finished just 20 minutes before the blasts.
"It's very sad, I mean there's a lot of blood on the ground around where they went off and people kind of being carted away," Driggers said. "There was a lot of people and military at that location before the bomb went off just because of security for the race."
We talked to former ABC News 4 employee Billy Domrose who was at his office just a mile away from the explosion and gave us a rundown of what he saw at the site.
"I see several people hugging each other.. I see a few people frantically looking and hollering for someone they were probably waiting for to cross finish line," he said. "Part of the subways are closed, some are open. Most of the cell phone towers are down. You can't get ahold of anyone, can't get ahold of family in SC. I can't get ahold of my wife. It's one of those frantic 9-11 things when you can't let anyone know you are okay.
Some runners took to social media to let loved ones know they were safe. Jacob Driggers tweeted out that he and 39-year-old Chris May from Charleston were safe, watching the events unfold from their hotel.
A friend of Richard Blalock, a 60-year-old runner from Mt. Pleasant, posted on our Facebook page "For those who know Richard, he is fine. He was about 1/2 mile from the finish line when the bombs exploded."
Later, Blalock tweeted himself, saying that he was that far away because cramps had slowed him down.
Maureen Bodkin, 40, from Summerville is okay and surrounded by family in Boston. She just finished the race before the explosion, a relative said.
A family member of 42-year-old Cheri Cosentino from Mt. Pleasant tells us she is with a good friend and her father-in-law trying to make it back to their hotel.
Elizabeth Turner said she and her family are safe in a Facebook message to ABCNews4.
"Thank you so much! I am safe as well as my family. On my way back. Unfortunately screaming baby in the car right now, so probably not the best time to talk. Would be glad to speak with you at another time. I was unable to run because of an injury, but was a spectating right where the explosions occurred an hour earlier. Praying for Boston. Thanks again for contacting me," she said.
Lauren Jayne responded Monday night, saying she was getting on the subway at the time of the bombings.
"Thank you for your concern. Cell phone service is kind of patchy here. I am okay and so is everyone that came to support me. This was my first Boston Marathon and the race itself was a great experience. I had just got on the subway to return to my hotel when the Boston Police asked us to evacuate the train. The police did a great job at staying calm and getting everybody of the station. I am thankful that all of the other Charleston area runners are okay and my heart goes out to those who were affected," she told ABCNews4.
Here are the other people from the Lowcountry registered to run the race:
Brewer, Joshua D.32
Farmer, Jessica M.28
Hansen, Eric T.40
Kent, Cherry C.56
ABCNews4 also spoke with travelers at the Charleston Airport Monday. None was concerned about airport security.
"I guess I have confidence with the security checks and stuff that are in place that we're going to have a safe flight," said Kristy Waltermyer, who was flying to Pennsylvania.
Debbie Kober was also boarding a flight from Charleston. She said she worried more about security at races, rather than airports.
"The security there - you think of the people who go to watch and the people who participate in them. It doesn't seem like it would be hard for something like that to happen, which is a shame," Kober said.
Chicagoan Lauren Sutehall said she recently ran a race. She said she thought security at all such events would change.