Wales

Boston Marathon: Welsh runners tell of explosion horror

  • 16 April 2013
  • From the section Wales

A group of runners from Cardiff have spoken of the "horror" of being caught up in two explosions near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon.

Friends Owain Griffiths, Emma Clatworthy Davies, Stuart Trimby and Matt Bauer, were around the finish when the blasts happened.

The FBI has launched a "potential terrorist inquiry" after two bombs exploded on Monday.

Three are dead - including an eight-year-old boy - and more than 150 hurt.

The group of friends from Cardiff, who are experienced marathon runners, described "a state of total confusion and shock" as they made arrangements to fly home on Tuesday.

Mr Griffiths, 37, who was running his 49th marathon, told BBC Wales he felt "very, very lucky".

"I was half a mile from the finish line when the bombs went off," he added. "I don't usually wear my phone but I had headphones in listening to music so I couldn't hear anything.

"Army marshals stopped us and thousands of runners were piling up behind me. They diverted us off the course.

"Pretty much straight away I started getting texts as the news started filtering through - two bombs had gone off."

Before the phone network was shutdown, Mr Griffiths was able to phone his brother back in the UK.

"One of my friends, Felicity, who is from Reading, was 200 metres from the finishing line when the bombs went off," he said.

"So she was right there and saw it. She rang me after to tell me she was safe and how lucky she was.

"She said she saw the explosions and didn't know what to do. She was terrified, she didn't know whether to keep on running but she ran onto the pavement and was pulled to safety by a really nice family who took her away from the area."

Mr Griffiths managed to contact his other friends - Emma Clatworthy Davies, 35, Matt Bauer, 33, and Stuart Trimby, 36.

The friends were told by police to return to their hotel and stay there.

Matt Bauer and Stuart Trimby
Friends Matt Bauer and Stuart Trimby pictured in Boston, last Thursday

"I just want to get home now," Mr Griffiths said. "I feel so lucky, very lucky. Normally I'm all out and sprinting towards the finish line and had I been a bit quicker I may have been caught up in the bombs."

Mr Griffiths' running mate Ms Clatworthy Davies told how the blasts happened shortly after she had crossed the finish line and collected her medal.

"I looked at all the smoke and chaos and for a split second I thought maybe it was just a Patriots' Day cannon fire and then seconds later the second one went off and then you realise, oh my God, there's something really bad," he said.

Ms Clatworthy Davies met Mr Bauer shortly afterwards but the pair could not trace Mr Trimby, also from Cardiff, for around an hour.

"We walked back to the hotel and Matt went to Massachusetts General Hospital, which was next door to the hotel, and they said he hadn't been in," she said. "It was awful."

Police and runners react to an explosion during the Boston Marathon
Police and runners react to the explosion during the Boston Marathon

"We were just in shock for hours and hours and hours. It's the most terrific city - and we're just gutted that it had ended like that."

Mr Trimby recalled rounding a corner before the 26-mile marker to find he was blocked by police.

"I didn't have a phone with me and I made my way back to the hotel and met up with them and just relived that every one was safe, really."

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