Boston Marathon: Miami Runners Describe Finish UPDATED

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The explosion at the Boston Marathon rippled throughout the country Monday night. Horrible pictures affected anyone like me who had ever run a marathon. Lots of South Florida runners were affected. A couple of examples:

The New Yorker is quoting Ken Bereski, from Miami, who had just finished his 12th Boston Marathon.

"I crossed the finish about two minutes before they went off," Bereski said. ("I'm counting my blessings right now that I finished two minutes ahead of where I was hoping to finish," he added later.) "I was still in the chute, just down by the water. I didn't see anything. I heard the explosions loud and clear... After the first one, people just shook it off. Then there was a second one. That's when everyone, myself included, realized something wasn't right."

He continued, "They started pushing everyone to get out of the finish chute area. Props to the volunteers -- they managed to even keep that under control. It wasn't a mad house. People were obviously rushing, but it was under control. People were clearly distraught. People who were just behind me rushed by, and they actually saw what happened. People near me were talking about lost limbs."

Bereski later added this note to his Facebook page:

Headed back to CT for the night. Blessed to be alive

I had finished mere minutes before the first explosion and was still right there (had just finished an interview at the finish line). I grabbed a post marathon water just before I heard the explosion. Once the second bomb went off everybody was running frantically (except the volunteers who guided everyone out safely, and the first responders charging towards the danger zone). I found my way out of the finish area and immediately checked in with my folks. Did what little I could by letting random phone less runners contact their loved ones

Safe and sound with my family now, and extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from my incredible family, friends, clients and colleagues. It means the world to me to see just how many of you reached out to me in every way imaginable

This event will NOT define Boston. The response of the first responders and BAA volunteers and the countless random people helping random people - THAT is what defines the great city of Boston, and the potential of the human race in general. Today and everyday I am proud of this city

Today we are all "All in For Boston"

The Miami Herald quotes Patricia Sodden of Hollywood: "I was walking away, walking slow," she said, "when all of the sudden there was this horrendous explosion. My heart stopped. I got very scared. Within a few seconds a second explosion went off. They told us to keep walking away, walking away."


We will post as we receive more news.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued the following statement this morning: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Boston. I've asked the Florida Division of Emergency Management to be on standby to provide any assistance needed to help first responders on the ground in Boston. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also stands ready to provide any support services needed. As a husband, father and grandfather, today's events remind us all of how fragile life is and how important it is for us to keep our communities safe. Tonight, our state stands in support of all those impacted by the Boston bombings. We hope those responsible are swiftly brought to justice - and peace and safety is quickly restored."

Sen. Marco Rubio said this: "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today's bombing at the Boston Marathon, the brave first responders who rushed to the scene to help others and the entire city of Boston. For decades, the Boston Marathon has brought together people from all over the world in the pursuit of athletic excellence, a sense of accomplishment and to raise money for many worthy causes. I am disturbed and saddened that anyone would ruin this day of celebration by targeting innocent people and murdering them in cold blood. Once it is determined who is responsible, justice must be served to the fullest extent possible."

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I live in Miami and am here in Boston for the marathon. I was here to support my brother who was running. I jumped in at mile 23 when I saw him to help him get to the finish. Things were going fine and seemed normal until mile 24 when I overheard people talking about a bomb going off at the finish line. There were several cops lined up along the course and they were letting the race go on and not saying anything about a bomb, so I figured what those people were discussing couldn't be true and we proceeded to run.  As we continued I heard more and more people talking about explosions at the finish and that the race was shut down. I thought this might be true since so many people were discussing it and thought it was very odd that the police were just standing at the sidelines of the course and not making any announcements about the race being called off due to the explosions. We continued to run and when we got to around 25.5 we were all finally stopped by the police and told were happened. Luckily everybody remained calm and we all did our best to get out of that area for fear of the possibility of other bombs in the area. Luckily my family and I are ok but my thoughts are with those that were not as lucky!

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