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Minutes may have made difference for area runners

By Scott Brunner
April 15, 2013 at 11 p.m.


Natalie Bach-Prather had the best run of her life.

"I cut my time by four minutes," she said. "Everything was perfect."

Those few minutes may have made the difference. About five minutes after she left the area, explosions near the finish of the Boston Marathon <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/news/nation/boston-marathon-bombing-kills-injures-more-than/article_04cf9805-6ab7-5233-8298-e81d9155effe.html">killed three and injured dozens</a> more Monday afternoon.

Bach-Prather and fellow Marshall runner Jay Anderson were among several East Texans who ran in the marathon. By Monday evening, it appeared none were physically harmed by the explosions. But the shock of the day's events is likely to linger, Bach-Prather said.

"A lot of people were in shock and weren't sure how to take it in," she said. "People were just walking around in a daze just trying to figure out what was going on."

As she and others quietly watched breaking news coverage on television in the moments after the explosions, the reality of what happened two blocks away was setting in.

"Every EMS, every police officer, everyone you can imagine was in that area," Bach-Prather said. "They were trying to get everyone away as quickly as possible."

That wasn't so simple. Public transportation had been shut down, and the hotel where she was staying was two miles distant.

"We definitely wanted to get away from the area," she said. "It was a slow walk."

Back at the hotel, Bach-Prather said, the situation became more clear.

"From our room, all you can see is helicopters surrounding the downtown area and hear sirens from all of the emergency vehicles," she said.

Anderson, a Marshall veterinarian, was closer to the finish line when the blasts occurred, but communicated with his office to let them know he was safe.

The question for many runners Monday evening was when they'd be able to get home. All flights had been grounded, Bach-Prather said.

"We were supposed to fly out (this) morning, but all the flights are grounded tonight," she said. "We're waiting to hear about tomorrow. Our thoughts are that we might try to rent a car and maybe come back that way."

<em>- Joe Holloway of the Marshall News Messenger contributed.</em>

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