Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 15, 2013

Local runner at Boston Marathon: 'I got off easy today'

Record-Eagle staff writers

---- — BOSTON — Michael Jarvis considers himself lucky.

The Leelanau Schools counselor/administrator was in the medical tent near the finish line at Monday's Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded nearby, killing two people and injuring more than 100 others, according to reports as of 7 p.m.

Jarvis, 50, had just finished the 26.2-mile race in 3 hours, 40 minutes and 17 seconds — receiving assistance in covering the final half-mile after suffering an injury.

"I probably have a stress fracture or broken leg of some kind, but really, I got off easy today," he said.

The injury landed Jarvis in the medical tent, near where the bombs exploded.

"There have been a lot of instances of incredible kindness," he said. "I didn't have any clothes and it was really cold, and there were people who came and gave me a fleece. A couple volunteers helped me find my family. It took over an hour to find my family. That was a really frightening time, because I knew they had been trying to watch me at the finish line. I didn't know if they were there when the bomb went off. They weren't. They hadn't made it there. Finally, we were reunited. That was such a huge relief to all of us. We sat in the middle of the street and bawled for a couple minutes."

Julie Moses, a registered nurse in the operating room at Munson, was about a block away, putting a race medal around her neck, when the first explosion rocked the area.

"The first one was loud, and I thought with all the electronics and cameras over the finish line, I thought it might be a generator or something of that sort," Moses said. "And then when you turned around and saw the amount of smoke and then heard the second one going off right after that ... we knew something bad had happened.

"I feel for those that are injured and have lost loved ones."

Krista Scott, a physical therapist at Excel Rehabilitation, was two blocks away, catching up with loved ones at a designated family meeting area.

"The first explosion startled everybody," she said. "Then we saw the smoke, followed by another explosion. We didn't know where or what. Sirens immediately started going off. We just started walking away from the race course at that point. Luckily, my entire family was at the family meeting station. Everybody was accounted for."

Just minutes before the explosion, Scott was telling family members about her great race day experience. She finished in 3:30:13.

"I ran a great race," she said. "Less than five minutes before (the explosions), I was telling my family how amazing the Boston Marathon was, how supportive the crowd was, how it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life. Now this black cloud is part of that experience as well.

"Words don't even describe the scene here right now. They shut down the race course with runners still on it. For quite awhile, there were runners stationed at medic tents along the course because they didn't know where to go, what to do. As I look out my (hotel) window now, you can still hear the sirens, people are still being redirected, there are still cops at basically every intersection."

Former Benzie Central runner Michael Waterson had finished the race a couple hours earlier, but was still milling about in the area with friends.

"We had no idea what was happening," he said. "We heard some things on the street, but we didn't really know the entirety of what happened until about an hour and a half later. It's very unfortunate."

A few hours earlier, Waterson ran a personal best in 2:39:17.

"It's hard to think about that now," he said.

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