INTERVIEW: Local Runners at Marathon

BOSTON — Portland resident and University of Oregon grad Scott McCulloch (above right) ran the Boston Marathon for the first time Monday.

KEZI 9 News talked with him over the phone after the two explosions happened near the finish line.

He says his hotel isn’t far from the finish line, but it’s on lockdown, so he’s watching the coverage in his hotel room.

Here is a transcript of what he said:

“I had finished maybe 30 minutes before, so it gave us just enough time to clear the area. We’d just gotten up to the hotel room when we heard the explosion.”

“We weren’t sure if that was just signifying the close of the race, but that seemed awfully soon. Then we started getting a lot of texts and phone calls from people trying to check in with us, so we turned on the news.”

“We were just stunned. It’s a beautiful day, I had just run a beautiful race, we were super excited and we were just getting changed up to go celebrate.”

“Our biggest concern right now is trying to get in touch with some friends who are on the course, make sure that everyone we know and care about are OK.”

“Right now, I can’t believe what we’re hearing. We’ve been watching it. A couple of people are reportedly dead, 20 something injured. So we are very thankful to be clear of the scene right now.”

KEZI 9 News also talked to Eugene resident Liz James (below right), over the phone, who ran the Boston Marathon with her husband, Greg James, a Bethel School District Administrator. It was her first time running the Boston Marathon as well. She said she was about five minutes from the scene when they heard the explosions.

Here is a transcript of what she told KEZI 9 News:

“We just started seeing specatators walking, running toward the Charles River, which is just past our hotel.”

“Very, very frantic. Everyone on their phones. People trying to text family members.”

“The marathon is such an emotional experience anyway. It was hard not to start crying because for 26 miles we had the best cheering us the entire way. It was just an amazing experience to have those people rooting for you for 26 miles. To know that those fans were on the sidelines at the finish line…it’s terrible…It could be kids. It could be college kids. It could be parents. The same people who cheered us almost the entire way. They were just there to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere.”

“It’s hard to even think about how I should be feeling about the race. It just doesn’t seem important anymore.”

“We were overjoyed. We were just recounting our accomplishments when those two blasts occurred within seconds of each other. It just didn’t become clear to us what had happened until people started running our way.”

“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Terrible.”

Tune in to KEZI 9 News for the latest on the Boston Marathon explosions.

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