Wilmington runners all reported safe after marathon explosion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wilmington runners all reported safe after marathon explosion

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Wilmington runner Christa Immarino is among the spectators in Boston. Wilmington runner Christa Immarino is among the spectators in Boston.
Mary Lou Tooley, a former Wilmington resident, was a spectator at today's Boston Marathon Mary Lou Tooley, a former Wilmington resident, was a spectator at today's Boston Marathon
Group of Wilmington residents (Brooke Park, Kristen Smith, Lindsay Dean, Jennifer Peterken) taken just before leaving for marathon. Group of Wilmington residents (Brooke Park, Kristen Smith, Lindsay Dean, Jennifer Peterken) taken just before leaving for marathon.
Valjeanne Estes ran in today's Boston Marathon. Valjeanne Estes ran in today's Boston Marathon.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - All local runners competing in Monday's Boston Marathon are reported to be safe, according to updates from runners associated with the event.

The incomplete list of runners with Without Limits Coaching includes Peggy Conlon, Marcy Waters, Thomas Porter, Valjeanne Estes, Charles Buckland, Brooke Park, Jennifer Peterken and Todd Rodzik.

Eyewitness accounts from locals in Boston follow.

Christa Immarino

Christa Immarino from Wilmington was in Boston as a spectator. She spoke on the phone Monday with reporter Colin Hackman.

Immarino say she was walking away from the finish line when she heard what sounded like a bomb.

"There was just something about it that sounded abnormal," Christa Immarino said. "It's scary and it's awful."

Immarino says she is staying in a hotel next to where the explosions occurred. That area is currently on lockdown.

Valjeanne Estes

Valjeanne Estes spoke with Hackman late Monday by phone.  She also completed the marathon and was getting her bag from the buses.

"It was a huge boom that you could feel.  Of course then everyone turned around and there was white smoke. Then there was a second one," Estes said.

Estes said she and others where immediately evacuated from their area.  She tried to navigate her way through the streets of Boston, which were being shut off by emergency workers. Estes said she borrowed a cell phone from someone to contact her mother and let her know she was fine.

Mary Lou Tooley

Mary Lou Tooley, who used to live in Wilmington, ran in the event Monday. 

"I was in a block away from the explosion in the family meeting area," Tooley said. "The first explosion went off and the entire area went silent. Then the second explosion went off, I'd say maybe 2 minutes after that and everything went silent again. That's when the ambulance and the police cars came you know went to the scene, clearing the scene. They stopped the marathon and took all the people still running off the course because it was right at the finish line were the people were sitting in the stands."

Tooley said there was confusion at the finish line at first.

"People just didn't know what to make of it. The people at the finish line, you know they were running, and they heard the noise and saw the smoke and you know the EMS and police and everybody on the course was getting them off the course," Tooley said.

Jennifer Peterken

Jennifer Peterken was also in Boston to run the marathon.

"I was trying to meet up with my friends, I had just finished the race and got my gear bag," Jennifer Peterken said. "We heard two explosions, one right after the other. And policemen stopped us in the middle of the road and I told him I needed to get to my friends and he said that's fine, but if you see people running back the other way, run with them because we don't know what's going on – mass confusion."

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

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