Reports from Boston Marathon: Friends, family from Hickory area are … – Hickory Daily Record

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Dave and Angela Hamilton after they picked up her Boston Marathon number Saturday. She was to run in the Monday’s marathon but didn’t because she was ill.
HICKORY N.C. – According to Juliet Horan, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Hickory, a center for area runners, local runners in the Boston Marathon were accounted for Monday within several hours.
“All of our area runners are safe and accounted for,” Horan said of Hickory, Taylorsville and Boone-area runners. “Including Scott Rigsby, whom Fleet Feet has adopted into our group.” Rigsby, a double-amputee, competed in the Ironman competition in 2007, becoming the first double-amputee on prosthetics to complete the competition.
Jerry Ledford, whose wife, Katie, completed her race about five minutes before two bombs exploded in downtown Boston near the finish line, was in disbelief.
“Everybody is in shock,” he said.
He was in the family pick-up area, waiting for his wife, when the blasts occurred around 3 p.m. Bystanders commented they thought the noise was celebratory guns going off in honor of Patriot’s Day.
“Word started getting around about bombs,” Ledford said as EMS, fire, police and other emergency responders starting arriving. Large black limousines sped up and down the streets, he said, which he thought to be FBI after listening to news reports.
Angela Hamilton had gone up to Boston with her husband to run the race.
“She wasn’t feeling well, and we were trying to get her treated so she could,” Dave said. The couple went to the finishing area to see the top runners cross the finish line. As nearly as he could remember, that was a couple of hours before the blasts.
“Boston is the mecca for runners,” said Horan. “You have to qualify by running a certain time in a marathon. It’s an emotional thing to do a race.”
Horan said the finish line is a strategic location. People gather 10 to 15 deep along the race’s route.
“When you hear people describe the route as being shoulder-to-shoulder friends, family and spectators – it’s true,” she said.
According to a graphic depicting how marathon runners finish in Boston, the vast majority cross the finish line between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. (www.marathonguide.com). According to reports, the first explosion occurred around 3:00 p.m. a few hundred feet from the finish line. A second bomb exploded about 12 seconds later about a block and a half away.

“When people ask if you’ve run a major marathon, they usually as have you run the Boston Marathon,” said Horan. When she heard the news, Horan called a girlfriend who is a volunteer for this year’s event.
“No one wants to speculate, but I know that bomb squads were on the scene,” she said.
Facebook became very active almost immediately, according to Horan, and information and communications from and to loved ones were posted and reposted.
A message on the Facebook page for the Charity Chase Half Marathon in Hickory said simply:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the runners and spectators at the Boston Marathon.”
“I pray for everybody’s safety,” said Horan. “Not just for the runners. We don’t need for this to become the next target.” The London Marathon is scheduled for next week, she said. New York and Chicago events are in the fall.
Authorities in Boston are warning visitors and residents to remain inside and not go out on the streets, according to Ledford.
Ledford and his wife were not able to reunite for close to 1½ hours. She was a little upset because she could not find him, he said.
The Ledfords and Hamiltons have joined together at the Doubletree Inn in downtown Boston. The Ledfords plan to return on today, but expect flight and local transit delays due to heightened security.
“It is surreal,” Ledford said.
A list of area runners entered in the marathon from it’s databank, based on area zip codes.
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Dave and Angela Hamilton after they picked up her Boston Marathon number Saturday. She was to run in the Monday’s marathon but didn’t because she was ill.
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