'It doesn't feel like it is happening'
Holland, Mich., High School junior Haley Frances is grateful her mother, Kathleen Wallis, ran the Boston Marathon as fast as she did on Monday.
The 16-year-old Frances said she and her aunt were standing where Monday’s explosions ripped through downtown Boston 10 to 15 minutes earlier watching Wallis finish the 26.2-mile race.
“Thank God she was fast enough, or we would have gotten blown up,” Frances said Monday night from her hotel room. “It’s really surreal. It doesn’t feel like it is happening.”
Wallis, 50, was running her fourth Boston Marathon. She finished in 3 hours and 38 minutes. Frances said she has traveled with her mother for each race.
Frances said she and her aunt were going to meet Wallis at the family pickup area when the explosions occurred.
“We thought it was fireworks of celebration,” Frances said. “We didn’t think anything of it. We got back to our hotel and people were texting me, asking me if I was OK. We turned on the news, and it was ‘Holy crap!’”
Frances said her hotel was on lockdown Monday night. She and her mother are slated to fly back on Wednesday, but they are not certain when they will be leaving.
Six-time Boston Marathon competitor Francine Robinson, of Cascade Township, Mich., says she hadd just pushed herself to a personal record in the race when she felt the blast of an explosion at the finish line.
Robinson's legs cramped and she was sitting in a wheelchair when the explosions occurred half a block away Monday afternoon.