Pine Cove resident Mark Dean finished the Boston Marathon well before two bombs exploded near the race finish line. Nevertheless, Dean’s months of training, the race he ran in Boston and his satisfaction in the stamina and endurance it took to finish will forever be shadowed by the devastating tragedy at the finish line.
Dean crossed the finish line about 20 minutes before the first explosion and notified the Town Crier in a phone call around 3:15 p.m. California time that both he and wife Margie were OK. Dean said when he finished the race, he and Margie were separated by several blocks. Both heard the explosions, blocks from their location and from each other. Only when they finally met did they learn the loud noises were bombs.
Runners World reported 17,584 crossed the finish line prior to the blasts, leaving about 7,000 on the course when the bombs detonated. Official reports Tuesday morning said three people had died in the two bomb blasts, including an eight-year-old boy. Over 175 others were injured, 17 of them critically.
Dean, 60, completed his race in an excellent time of 3:44:05. He said this time would qualify him for next year’s Boston race. He said he would make the decision about participating after consulting with his coach and getting a better understanding of the cause of the cramps which slowed him in the final miles.
In a separate local connection, Mark Salter’s son Kendall, now a journalism student at Boston University, was at the race to meet his cousin Robyn Dodge, who also had completed the race prior to the bombs’ detonations.
According to Kendall, Dodge had finished about 40 minutes prior to the first explosion and they had met up in the area of the finish line. She was going to get a massage in service tents set up for the runners and Kendall, not a race participant, could not accompany her. So they separated just prior to the explosions and Salter called another friend. “I heard a loud boom that didn’t belong,” Salter said while talking on the phone. “It sounded like an industrial steel door slamming. I’d never heard a bomb explode before today, except in the movies. We talked for another minute until my friend delivered the news: people injured, explosion at the finish line, dozens of people hurt.”
It took Salter hours to ascertain Dodge was OK because cell service became overloaded after the bombs.