A former Friendship Christian School cross country runner described Monday’s bombing scene at the Boston Marathon finish line “absolutely disgusting.”
“I really hope the person who did this gets caught,” said Josh Erhard, of Gallatin.
Two large explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line at Copley Square just before 2 p.m. Monday, that left at least three people dead and more than 130 others injured on streets crowded with runners, spectators and post-race partiers.
Boston police reported a third explosion at the JFK Library more than an hour after the first two that left no injuries. A senior U.S. intelligence official told the Associated Press two more explosive devices were found near the scene and were dismantled.
Erhard, a 2010 Friendship Christian graduate, crossed the finish line about an hour before the explosions.
“The only thing that I really know is what I’ve been seeing on CNN,” Erhard said Monday from his Boston hotel room. “We left about 30 minutes before everything happened. I’m still trying to collect myself.
“Apparently my parents had been standing in that exact spot about 45 minutes before it all happened. My mom was shaking because she had been right there. I can’t imagine if you are a runner just coming in and find out that one of your family members had been hit by a bomb.”
Three other Wilson County runners were listed on the Boston Marathon website as participants in Monday’s race. According to the site, Alexandra W. Miller, 46, of Lebanon, crossed the 40K mark at 3:11 p.m. EST.
No tracking results were available for Mt. Juliet runners Manuel M. Arellano, 62, and Kimberly Manning, 46. Attempts to reach the three local runners were unsuccessful.
Erhard, who will be a junior in the fall at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said he had a good race under great weather conditions and had just gotten out of the shower at his hotel when he first heard the news of the bombing.
“From what I experienced, it was great,” Erhard said. “I had a decent marathon time. I would recommend anyone who is a runner to definitely do it. I hope these bombs don’t deter anyone from running in it next year.
“I’ve been getting numerous phone calls and texts from people who had heard about it. It was really encouraging to see all those people concerned about me and my family, as well as the other runners.”
Erhard exchanged a few texts with his former cross country coach Greg Armstrong while Armstrong was at work at Friendship Christian.
“He’s fine,” Armstrong said. “He said his parents were standing right in the spot where the bomb went off about 45 minutes before.”
Erhard finished the race with a time of 3:08:30.
– The Boston Herald contributed to this report via MCT