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Mid-Missouri runners return from Boston Marathon

By Evan Millward, Weekend Anchor/Reporter, evanm@kmiz.com
Published On: Apr 15 2013 05:40:39 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 16 2013 11:14:59 PM CDT
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

According to the Boston Athletic Association's website, 18 runners from Mid-Missouri were in Boston for the marathon.

As of Tuesday night, most runners had returned to Missouri. A couple were still in Boston as planned.

Anne Sievers was busy Tuesday getting back normal life, a normal routine.

"What you really want to do is come home and put your feet up and enjoy what you accomplished," she said. "All I wanted to do was just see my kids, pick them up and go about business as usual."

Like so many runners, Sievers praised the work of emergency responders and volunteers. She also said she was touched by the people of Boston, enough that she would not let fear of attacks stop her from running the race again.

"The experience itself, of going to Boston, being with my friends there [was great]," she said. "We all worked hard to get there together, that aspect [the attacker(s)] can't take away from me."

ABC 17 News talked with Sievers Monday night. She said at that time all runners with her group from Columbia were safe and accounted for.

Sievers, a swim instructor at Wilson's Fitness in Columbia, told ABC 17 News that authorities were slowly closing down more of downtown Boston.

"We are safe for now," she said. "I've been out since and it's eerie around here."

Other stories from Columbia runners are still coming in.

Becky Bond's husband David was at the finish line, but wasn't hurt after the explosions. She was stopped at the 25 mile marker by race officials.

In a Facebook conversation, Shelly Frazier said she finished the race just five minutes before the blast.

"I turned back to get a banana and heard and saw the explosions. At first, I and people around me thought it must have been a celebratory thing ... or at minimum an electrical explosion," she said. But she was skeptical because she had run the race before and never seen pyrotechnics. "Once the second bomb went off, people were more concerned that this was a sinister act. I fought my way back to my hotel, barely able to walk (because of just finishing the race)."

Frazier said the emergency responders and the race volunteers were phenomenal, fast and comforting.

"God love them, the best they could have possibly done," she said.

Haley Schwartz, like Sievers, was back that her hotel not far away when she heard the explosions.

"It's just awful," husband Tom Schwarz said Monday. "It's really sad for folks not as lucky as our group."

Amy Pescaglia of Columbia was following her friends using a live tracking tool online. While searching, she noticed some had finished and others had stopped. She checked Facebook and learned about the explosions.

"I think we all really want to know that they're okay, like us as a larger running community in Columbia," said Pescaglia. "But not everybody gets to have contact directly. Like, I was waiting for text messages and responses. It's just this little network of sharing information and we're cheering them on first and then praying for their safety and now just their safe return because I'm sure it's still pretty chaotic there."

Cell service had been limited in Boston for hours, so it was been difficult to contact runners.

Wilson's Fitness Centers posted to their Facebook to say they have heard from all of their runners from Columbia and they are safe.

Google has launched a Person Finder for the Boston Marathon explosions.

The Boston Athletic Association says 207 people from Missouri were registered to run the race and lists the following people as runners from Mid-Missouri:

Anderson, Jennifer
Bond, Becky
Castagno-Dysart, Dawn
Derose, Jordan
Doisy, Kathy
Fernandez, Keith
Fraizer, Shellaine
Frese, Dana
Heaviland, Dan
Hillard, Laura
Kennelly, Sean
Louie, John
Schwarz, Haley
Sievers, Annie
Smith, Clint
Tripp, Michael
Washington, William
Young, Darrin

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