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Idaho Runner Recounts Boston Marathon Explosions

Boston Marathon Hotel View
Rachael Bickerton

At least 90 Idaho runners were signed up for today’s Boston Marathon, a race that ended with two deadly explosions.

Boise State University director of trademark licensing Rachael Bickerton finished the race about 40 minutes before the explosions occurred. She is safe, along with another Boise State employee, Casey Jones. Bickerton says she's contacted about a dozen fellow Idaho marathon runners, who are all safe. 

The Idaho Statesman is also reporting there are no known injured Idahoans who ran the Boston Marathon. More than 23,000 runners started the race, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

Bickerton spoke with us from her hotel room this afternoon.

Q: Let me just start by asking where you were?

A: So, I was walking back to my friend’s hotel. The Westin Copely Square, the other side of the library I think. We had just left a friends meeting area.

Q: You had already finished with the race?

A: Yes, we’d finished about 40 minutes before we understand the explosion went off. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the finish line, to collect your bag, to then meet up with people who were watching to head home.

Q: How did you hear about the news?

A: Firstly, we heard one explosion and then the other one shortly after. We all kind of stopped and looked at each other. We were having such a great time. We thought it must be a cannon since it's Patriots' Day. But you could feel the fear in the air, because no one really knew what it was. By the time we got to the hotel, there were people running, saying there was an explosion. And so we heard it and felt it but we didn’t see anything.

Q: Did you have friends or family in the stands?

No, I didn’t, luckily. My husband had come to meet me because I had finished the race. And other friends I had in the stands had already left because I finished the race already.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve run the Boston Marathon?

It’s the second time I’ve run the Boston Marathon. And both times were absolutely amazing. It’s such a great race.  It’s such a festive, happy -- it’s one of the best marathons around. This is truly devastating.

Q: What’s the mood like there now?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m in my friend’s hotel room. We went downstairs, and we were told to stay in our hotel. People are nervous, I’m sure. I guess what you would expect.

Q: Do you have a TV set on, is everyone glued to what’s happening?

Yes, everyone is watching TV. It was kind of weird at the beginning, though, because half the people didn’t necessarily know. So you have a lot of people elated because you’ve just run 26.2 miles. We all have our medals and blankets. And it seemed to us coming into the hotel people didn’t know. But now, it’s just very quiet. There were people still walking around we can see from the windows. A lot of police cars, bomb squads, ambulances as well.  Where we are, a lot of the roads have been closed off. We’ve been told to stay in the hotel.

Q: Do you know how long you’ll have to stay there?

No idea. We managed to get texts to everyone we know. There’s a lot of people from Boise running. We’ve managed to between us sort of contact most people, or post on Facebook that we’re all safe. I just hope that everyone else is safe and well too.

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