At about 2:50 p.m. on Monday, April 15 two explosions
were detonated by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (19) and his brother Tamerlan (24), killing
three people and injuring over 140 during the 117th Boston Marathon.
Runners from across the globe congregated for the
marathon, including members of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Tom Wetter, associate professor in the school of health
promotion and human development, ran the Boston Marathon for the14th time,
completing the race in just three hours and two minutes.
“I used to live in Boston and that’s how I got
connected with the marathon. My wife, Annie, was at Tufts getting her post-doc
and that’s where we got a network of friends to go visit and run the marathon
with,” Wetter said.
Wetter finished the race about an hour and a half prior
to when the explosions went off and left the event shortly after.
After finishing the race, Wetter waited for his friends
to complete the race at the meeting areas before heading to the subway station,
which was a mere block away from the meeting area.
“It’s typically loud in train stations so we didn’t
hear anything happening. We found out about what happened from a text,” Wetter
Wetter said there was no immediate or chaotic reaction
to the explosions for those in the train station. They found out just like
everyone else who was following it on TV.
Trevor Darrow, a senior at UWSP, had a brother and
sister-in-law running the marathon. When he heard about the explosions, he was
shocked and worried about his relatives.
“I wanted to make sure my brother and sister-in-law
were okay,” Trevor said. “The phone lines were down going into Boston, so we
had to wait for him to get a hold of us. Cell phone reception could go out but
it couldn’t go in, and he had to contact us through Facebook messaging.”
Trevor’s brother Justin said he finished the marathon
at around 1 p.m., and his wife was waiting for him at the finish line.
“We were in a group with four other people, all of us
running as teammates,” Justin said. “When we finished, we got texts saying
congrats for finishing. When we got back to the hotel, I started getting texts
asking if we were all right. I got messages from people I haven’t talked to
since high school.”
Justin said he and his wife Carly left the finish line
area about 20 minutes before the first explosion. He said they heard nothing
about the attacks until they got to their hotel room.
“My initial reaction was why would someone do this at a
marathon? Who was it?” Justin said.
Justin said Southwest Airlines was kind enough to move
his and his teammates’ flight to Tuesday, instead of later in the week.
As more details about the surviving bomber, Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev, and the theories behind his motives come to light, Wetter
contemplates the prevention of such terrors happening again.
“He is a freshman in college. As a teacher I want to
know why he felt so unconnected to everyone else,” Wetter said.
Wetter plans on returning to Boston next year with his
family to run the race again.
“A lot of people I’ve talked to since are not deterred
from running next year,” Justin said. “I think people have been encouraged to
run the marathon next year.”