WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WFSU Local News

Tallahassee Man Misses Boston Blast By Minutes

About 25,000 people ran in this year’s Boston Marathon and nearly 20 of them belong to different running or triathlon clubs from Tallahassee.  

Roughly 2 hours after the first runners crossed the finish line, two bombs left 3 dead, and at least 150 injured, many of them in serious condition.  A few hours earlier at the start of the race, Alex Steverson, a veterinarian from Tallahassee, was only paying attention to the road in front of him.        

“Thousands of runners around you almost the whole race and people lining the streets,” Steverson said “so it’s a very exciting atmosphere throughout the entire race.”

The distance kept getting shorter and shorter, until finally, the finish – 3 hours, 18 minutes, and 2 seconds. He finished 327th in his age group and pretty well overall.  Steverson’s wife stood on the sidewalk, behind those now infamous flags, and took pictures of her husband.

“We ran across the finish line, which is a great experience, and the after you finish you get some water and some nutrition and then there’s some family meeting area where you can be with your family members who are there with you.” Steverson said.

He made his way around the corner with his wife and fellow runners, but then came the explosions.

“We heard these two loud explosions, loud booms, and immediately my thought was ‘that was an explosion’,” Steverson was just a block away from the first blast, “it sounded almost like a cannon going off if you will, my first thought was ‘there’s nothing else it could be other than an explosion.”

In the chaos runners and spectators didn’t know what was happening, but soon, says Steverson, it was clear something had gone very wrong.

“They were telling people to go ahead and get your family and get out and leave, and so as we left we saw a number of ambulances flying by where they were taking people from the finish line to the hospital.”

Steverson’s group missed the bombs by about 25 minutes.  He says the attack won’t stop him from going back to next year’s race.

“I feel like you can’t let instances like this dictate your life and that if we were to say ‘we’re not going back next year’ I think that’s giving in and that’s allowing them to accomplish their purpose.”

Officials say all 17 marathon runners from Tallahassee are safe and accounted for.