by Murray Crawford
A Sylvan Lake runner was near the Boston Marathon finish line when explosions killed three people and injured more than 140 on Monday.
Julian Price had finished the race an hour earlier but was lingering near the finish waiting for a friend to cross the line.
Price, a pastor at Gospel Chapel, spoke from his hotel room with his wife where they are safe and sound.
“Definitely rattled with today’s devastation,” said Price.
Price finished the race in under three hours, crossing the finish line about an hour before the first explosion, at about 4:09 into the race. He lingered with his wife in the runners’ area around the corner, a block and a half away, after his race, waiting for a friend to finish.
“At first you hear it, it sounded like something just collapsed and it was just a roar, a big roar,” said Price. “There was nothing for a second and then there was a second explosion. I’ve never heard a bomb go off.
“A couple of minutes after the explosion you started hearing all the sirens and police and ambulances rushing to the scene. At that point we didn’t know where they were going. We didn’t know it was at the finish line until someone showed us a picture on their iPhone.”
The couple’s friend crossed the line just a few minutes before the explosion had gone off.
“In one sense you want to get out of there and in the other we were waiting for them.”
At one point they were going to head towards the finish line. But to get to the finish line from where they were, it would have been a walk of several blocks. So they decided not to go and waited.
Fortunately they received a text message from their friend, his wife and another friend saying he had crossed the finish line and had started walking away.
“They literally missed it by a few minutes.”
There was a panic after the bombs went off as people tried to comprehend what had happened.
“As people started becoming more aware the whole area was evacuated as much as possible,” said Price. “Then you’d see a few people in tears, crying and hugging and you knew something horrific had happened.
“We decided we have to get out of here. We have everyone we are here with, let’s get out of here.”
This was Price’s first Boston marathon.
“Once we realized what happened, I had immediate concern for those people directly involved,” said Price. “Then for us it was, ‘is something else going to happen, who knows? We just need to get out of here.’”
They made it back to their hotel and were returning to Central Alberta Tuesday, as long as flights out of Boston are still running.
“It is just really heartbreaking to have such an incredible event, a wonderful experience and have something like this happen it is really devastating,” said Price.