Minnesota marathon runners recall explosions in Boston - FOX 35 News Orlando

Minnesota marathon runners recall explosions in Boston

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  • Judge Jay Quam recalls Boston Marathon experience

    Judge Jay Quam recalls Boston Marathon experience

    Thursday, April 18 2013 11:46 AM EDT2013-04-18 15:46:45 GMT
    Marathon runners from Minnesota are still returning home from the Boston Marathon, many with mixed, raw emotions -- and Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam was one of them.
    Marathon runners from Minnesota are still returning home from the Boston Marathon, many with mixed, raw emotions -- and Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam was one of them.

Minnesota is always well-represented at the Boston Marathon, and several local runners were close to finishing the 26.2-mile race when two deadly explosions erupted near the finish line.

Several runners spoke with FOX 9 News by phone about the experience, including one Lakeville man who was only about 200 yards away when the two bombs exploded.

"Initially, I heard what sounded like a cannon blast and I saw a plume of smoke immediately," Paul Stein recalled. "There was another blast and another plume of smoke, and I was far enough away. There wasn't much more I could see."

Sadie Briggs, of Chaska, had finished the marathon about 10 minutes before the first explosion rang out. She told FOX 9 News the crowd around her thought a gunman was opening fire as they ran for their lives.

"It's chaos, complete chaos. Truly, as I'm talking to you, I've seen a squad care, two fire trucks and a police car go by the window. They are telling people to stay indoors," Briggs said. "Most of us are from out of town, so you are scared to go back to your hotel. Streets around our hotel were blocked off. Our hotel was locked down for a while. It's surreal."

Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam had just met up with his family about a block and a half away when he heard the two unmistakable booms and saw dozens of local law enforcement officers speed toward the scene.

"You are happy because you just finished the Boston Marathon. Then, all of a sudden, you are scared because you don't know what's going to happen," Quam told FOX 9 News.

Minnesota Sen. Scott Dibble, who recently authored the Freedom to Marry Act, had just hopped a cab from the marathon when he heard the news.

"It's troubling. It's tragic. My thoughts are with the victims; my heart goes out to them," Dibble said. "We don't' know the scale or scope of the tragedy. You wonder who on Earth, or why on Earth, someone would do something like this."

All four Minnesotans at the race told FOX 9 News the mood in Boston is very somber and still somewhat chaotic, especially since cell phone towers are still jammed with calls to and from family and friends checking to see if their loved ones are safe.

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