Niles runner recalls Boston Marathon bombingPublished 7:10pm Monday, April 15, 2013
Tracy Eaves, of Niles, finished running the Boston Marathon about 10 minutes before two bombs went off near the finish line Monday, killing two people and injuring dozens more.
Eaves was in an area near the finish line talking to her husband on the phone when the first bomb exploded.
“You could feel the boom — it was huge,” she said. “I turned around and saw a huge cloud of dark smoke rising up two to three stories high.”
Eaves told her husband it was an explosion before another bomb went off seconds later.
“At that point, I knew it was something horrible,” she said.
After the second blast, Eaves said police began directing the runners and spectators away from the finish line. As she was following the crowd, Eaves’ thoughts turned to her friend, Lisa Smith, of South Bend, Ind., who was running several minutes behind Eaves.
“I was worried to death about her because I knew she would be about 10 minutes behind me,” she said. “You are just panicked because you don’t know what happened or if she’s OK.”
The two met about 20 minutes later at a hotel a half-mile away from the finish line.
Both were uninjured.
Eaves, a 1988 Brandywine graduate, said she spent the hours after the race letting friends and family know she was OK. Eaves has two kids, 13 and 11, who attend school in Edwardsburg.
“They were worried, texting me on the way home on the school bus,” Eaves said. “Being so far away, you want to go home and give them a really big hug, but you can’t.”
Eaves is an avid marathon runner. She’s finished 39 marathons, including three Boston Marathons.
She plans to continue running, but admits Monday’s bombings might give her pause when signing up for the next Boston Marathon.
“I’d like to say it won’t change anything — you don’t want them to win — but you just don’t know,” she said. “You have to be as safe as you can be.”
Eaves said she has a flight home Tuesday morning.