Piney Flats man recounts explosions at Boston Marathon

Gary B. Gray • Apr 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Richard Meyers, a 46-year-old Piney Flats resident, was breathing a sigh of relief this afternoon after explosions rocked downtown Boston just after he’d crossed the finish line.

“I had just come across the finish line in my first Boston Marathon,” Meyers said from his hotel. “My wife and 8-year-old daughter had just taken pictures of me. She left and began following me. She had been standing right at the spot where the first explosion went off.”

That move may have saved their lives.

Meyers said his family greeted him on a sidewalk near an intersection.

“We’d just walked around the corner to go to our hotel, and that’s when we heard the first boom,” he said. “Everybody stopped. At first, we thought it might have been a car tire that blew out. Everybody started texting us to see if we were OK. Right now the whole place is locked down.”

About two hours after several explosions wreaked havoc on bystanders and runners, he said he could still hear the wail of sirens in what he described as a 10-square-block area.

“It was a bad end to a good day,” said the runner, who placed No. 10,281 when he crossed the finish line with about half the field still behind him.

Meyers said he didn’t think too much about it until he got back to the hotel, but he said he and another runner noticed military personnel “in full uniform” positioned at the start line on top of roofs and in other locations.

“I thought, ‘that make me kind of nervous.’ Thinking about it now, it seemed like it was a bit much. It seemed like they may have been on heightened alert.”

The Meyers’ plan to return home tomorrow, unless they run in to difficulties.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Even getting to Logan airport is going to be difficult.”

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