Get Connected
  • facebook
  • twitter
Print

'A very chaotic day' extends to W.Va. runners too

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Runners with the Tallman Track Club met Monday evening at the University of Charleston and prayed.

"We had more than usual tonight," said W.K. Munsey, a member of the club. "It's been a very chaotic day."

About four-dozen runners from West Virginia had entered to run in the Boston Marathon, and family and friends spent Monday trying to track them down after two explosions near the marathon's finish line.

Less than an hour after the bombings, which exploded just before 3 p.m., Munsey was trying to find the local runners he knew.

Before 5 p.m., Munsey got the answers he wanted.

"They're all safe," he said, adding that he'd heard Dave McCollam, of Bridgeport, Adam Coon, of Comfort, Richard Boehm, of Scott Depot and Emily Chaney, of Huntington, were all OK.

Boehm's wife Kara, who was a spectator, stood only 100 yards from where both explosions occurred.

"All of a sudden there was a loud boom, and it shook you and everything around you," she said. "There was a huge flame and smoke and then 10 seconds later the second one went off.

"That's when everyone knew something was wrong," she said. "Everyone told me to stay where I was and don't move."

Richard Boehm, who was farther away from the blasts, borrowed a cellphone to get in touch with his wife. They were reunited after a little more than an hour.

"It was just so scary, you were wondering if the building you were standing in front of was going to blow up next," she said. 

Forty-six runners from West Virginia entered the race, according to the marathon's website, http://www.baa.org.

Runners from Charleston were Timothy Deer, Robert F. Dundervill III, Kim Christopher and Nathaniel Orders. Munsey said they were not injured.

Orders, 35, had finished running before the explosions and was OK, according to his wife Melissa's Facebook page.

Dundervill, a Charleston ophthalmologist, was walking to his hotel room after finishing the race, according to his wife, Lisa.

"When he heard the explosion, he called me to see if I was near a computer to look up and see what was going on," she said. "I heard it from him so I knew immediately he was OK."

Bradford Deel, of Scott Depot, was also entered to run the marathon. Last year, Deel, a University of Charleston professor, ran 50 miles to celebrate his 50th birthday.

"By the time it had happened I was already back at the hotel and cleaned up," Deel said Monday. "Everybody I know that was running the race is fine.

"My wife [Leslie] asked if I was OK. I said, 'I'm fine, a little sore' and then she told me what had happened," he recalled.

Robert M. Steptoe III, 45, of Morgantown, and his father, Robert M. Steptoe Jr., 69, of Clarksburg, both of the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, were registered to participate in the marathon. Members of the law office said they spoke to family members who said they were unharmed.

"They're all OK," a spokesman with Steptoe's Bridgeport office said. The father and son ran in honor of the elder Steptoe's wife, who died a couple years ago, the spokesman said.

Teresa DeLong, 65, of New Cumberland, the mother of Joe DeLong, director of the state Regional Jail Authority, was a runner in the marathon. She and other family members who were in Boston for the race are fine, a woman close to the family said Monday evening.

Deel said he was shocked about what happened, especially after seeing the amount of security on the streets of Boston.

"They had more cops working that race than we have in the state of West Virginia," he said. "The race is so well-run and so well-organized."

Beckley native Cody Dean, a junior at Harvard University, said he was about 1,000 feet from the finish line during one explosion.

"I didn't hear a blast, I felt a shaking -- something in the distance," he said after he was back in Cambridge, Mass. "Then I saw [200] to 300 police and emergency medical folks running."

Dean talked about the narrow streets of Boston and how "everything is very compact."

"Since the sidewalks have been redone everything is really close to the road. ... The marathon was stopped as far back as it could [after the explosions]. People were running anywhere they could.

"No one knew what was going on," Dean said. "There were helicopters and everyone was crying."

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a statement Monday evening regarding the explosion.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by today's tragic events in Boston. We are monitoring information through the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center. No specific threats to West Virginia have been identified at this time."

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


Print

User Comments