Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


April 21, 2013

Witness to Boston Marathon tragedy

Lockport's Belinda Stoll finished the race seconds before the first bomb blast at the finish line.



“I was trying to process what I was seeing, then a few seconds later, a second explosion went off and this one shot up higher and was louder than the first one. The smoke was yellowish gray. People were running towards me and you should have seen the look of terror on their faces. I’ll never forget it.”
The world literally changed around them after the explosions, Belinda said, beginning with the first 45 minutes when she did not see or speak to her husband. Belinda, unlike some runners, did not carry a cell phone with her while running. The cell phone shut down put in place immediately after the blasts to possibly deter more bombs from going off had separated the couple after her finish.
“I borrowed someone’s phone and finally got a hold of Mike. Our hotel faced the site of the second bomb explosion. It was like a war zone. They worked non-stop all night long. There were people standing in front of our hotel holding rifles,” Stoll said.
“My husband and I went out for a walk the next day. The cable news networks had taken over the Boston Commons.”
The Stolls returned to Lockport on Wednesday, a day later than most from a large contingent of Buffalo runners.
“I just needed a day to relax and take everything in,” she said.
Despite what happened this year, Belinda said she’s already booked herself a hotel for the 2014 Boston Marathon and plans to run her best race to date.
“I can’t wait for next year. This isn’t going to keep me away from being there again,” she said.

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