Local residents running in Boston Marathon respond to explosions


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

As with any race as large as the Boston Marathon, there are a few runners from the Local 6 area who made the trip.

Local 6's Elizabeth Fields was on the phone much of Monday afternoon reaching out to them, and also talked with friends and family who wanted Local 6 to know they were safe.

One of the people we spoke with was Steve Sherling of Paducah.

He is in Boston with Bradley Simmons and Patrick Hatton, who's a captain for the Paducah Fire Department.  They had already crossed the finish line when the explosion went off.

Now, they're in their hotel room three or four blocks away from the explosion site and Sherling says he can hear all the sirens.

Sherling sent Local 6 a few pictures he took at the starting line.

It was a crowded race course and the sidewalks along the entire 26 mile course were filled with spectators cheering them on.

He says the finish line was even more congested because after they crossed the finish line, they had to pick up their foil wraps, their medals as well as food and drinks.  They had to sort of shuffle through to eventually pick up their bags of clothes.

Sherling says it took them more than a couple of minutes to make their way through.  He can't imagine what it would have been like to hear that explosion ring out at that moment. 

"When you finish the race, it's real hard to walk and if that thing went off, I can't imagine because I could barely walk back to the hotel let alone run or dodge something that was exploding," Sherling said.

Local 6 also spoke with Patrick Hatton.  He says he's just in shock to know he was so close to that explosion.  He can't imagine who would want to ruin the iconic race.

The explosion also shook up Erin Sullivan from Mayfield. She said she was right across the street from the spot one year ago as her husband crossed the finish line.

"I was right there in the stands right where those other people were and I remember everyone was so crowded," she said. "I can't imagine what the would have been like."

Although Brad Sullivan doesn't have plans to personally go back to Boston he hopes Monday's events don't stop others from signing up for any race.

"If this discourages anybody from doing something, then the people doing these things then they've won already," he said.

Another group of runners who had not crossed the finish line were pulled off the course after the explosion.