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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Local reaction to Boston Marathon explosions

  • Bombs detonated at about the same time as Mary Maas finished the race last year.
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  • For those of you who haven’t heard, here is what we know up to our press time: on Monday, April 15 at 2:50 p.m., there was an explosion near the finish line on the north side of Boylston Street at the Boston Marathon, followed by another explosion about 10 seconds later.
     
    The two explosions were about 550 feet apart. Three people were killed and over 170 were injured. No suspects have been identified in the case, which federal authorities are classifying as an act of terrorism.
     
    Mary Maas is a senior computer technician at Sleepy Eye Public School. She and her husband John have run in the Boston Marathon for the past two years. Fortunately, neither ran in it this year.
     
    “At the time the bombs went off, that would have been close to my finish time,” Maas said. “That’s a scary thought. My heart aches for the victims and their families.”
     
    Maas mentioned that she wasn’t aware of anyone local who ran in the “Super Bowl” of marathons this year.
     
    “I can’t imagine what it would be like running toward the finish line and having bombs go off beside you,” Maas said. “What would you do, keep running toward the finish line or drop to your knees and cover your head?”
     
    In some of the videos recorded by bystanders, both options were seen, as widespread panic and confusion were set forth during the moments of the explosions.
     
    Maas said she also felt bad for the runners who never got to finish the race. She said qualifying to run at the marathon is a tough feat. Runners have to meet a specific time depending on your age and gender at a certified marathon course in order to be invited to run at the Boston Marathon.
     
    Last year the marathon saw temperatures well above 70 degrees, in which officials offered deferrals to anyone that wasn’t properly trained to run in the heat. This year, however, Maas said the runners had almost perfect weather conditions for the race so it’s unfortunate that an attack like this occurred. Especially because of how popular the marathon usually is.
     
    “Patriots Day is a big deal in Boston,” Maas said. “Schools and some businesses close. Everyone is out to watch the marathon or go to a Red Socks game.”
     
    The investigation of the bombings is ongoing, but some federal sources have said at least one of the bombs used in the attack was composed of a pressure cooker that was in a dark bag of some sort.
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