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Love shines through in wake of Boston Marathon bombing

Courtesy of MCT

For a competitive runner, time is everything.

But after a series of explosions rocked the finish line of what many see as a competitive runner’s Mecca, different values rose to the surface.

“The rest of the day, after (the explosion) happened, nobody asked anybody what their time was,” said Carley Tanchon, a student assistant in Ohio State’s neurosurgery department. “And these people are all competitive runners. Everybody wants to do well, but there are so many things that matter more.”

Two blasts near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon that the Boston Police Department determined to be bombs left at least three dead and at least 176 injured as of Tuesday evening, according to police.

“I got so many calls, some were from people I haven’t talked to in years, just asking if I was OK,” Tanchon said. “I just want people to use this to remember the love in the world, not the hate.”

The series of blasts erupted at about 2:50 p.m., or nearly six hours after the start of the race. The first wave of marathon runners had a start time of 9 a.m. Monday.

Kathy Krummen, a sports medicine physical therapist at OSU, also experienced the outpouring of support.

“When I got back to my phone about four hours later (after the explosions) I had 18 missed calls and 59 text messages from friends and family,” Krummen said.

She said people were telling her they had friends she could stay with, friends who could pick her up, meet up with her and offer her housing.

“There was just this outpouring of support to make sure you were OK. It was the same at the finish line,” she said. “Bystanders became first responders. There was an outpouring of support and community.”

Krummen said she was a block-and-a-half to two blocks away from the finish line when she heard what sounded like thunder.

“The general feeling was get out of here, leave here, don’t go back to the finish line,” Krummen said. “It was fear and sadness (going through my head). We were just there (at the finish line). I don’t know what made the bombs go off, and I don’t know what time it was.”

The day, Krummen said, was full of uncertainty.

“We made it through the (finishing) shoot, but no matter how fast you tried to walk, everyone had just run a marathon,” she said. “It was a slow shuffle. I was thinking, ‘Are there going to be more explosions? Is this it? Is there more?'”

Three were killed in the attack. Two have been identified, one as 8-year-old Martin Richard, and another was 29-year-old Krystle Campbell. As of Tuesday evening, the name of the third person killed in the explosions had not been released.

The day after the explosions in Boston, Jay Kasey, OSU senior vice president for Administration and Planning, released a message about emergency planning resources to faculty and staff.

“We have reiterated this many times, but the best way to prevent a threat from being carried out is for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and immediately report anything suspicious: If you ‘see something, say something,'” Kasey’s message read.

He mentioned the tips were to be kept in mind if threats were carried out on campus. In the last two weeks, two threats were made online insinuating a shooting would take place in an OSU “cafeteria” or unspecified area on campus.

Kasey’s message listed a proper chain of responses to a threat as being “run, hide and as a last resort, fight.” He assured that the “public safety team is prepared to respond.”

“We continue to be thankful the potential threats directed toward the university were not acted upon, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the violence in Boston,” Kasey said.

The Ohio Union was evacuated at about 7 p.m. Tuesday because of a suspicious package, which was detonated by OSU Police officers at about 7 p.m.

Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported that investigators determined the Boston Marathon bombs “consisted of two 6-liter pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings and other metal.” The bombs were found in duffel bags, according to officials.

Despite the day’s chaos and attack, Krummen said she is not discouraged from running another marathon.

“I’ll definitely do the (Boston) Marathon again,” she said. “You don’t stop driving because you get in a car crash and you don’t stop running because you’re afraid someone will take it away from you. I am definitely doing Boston (in) 2014.”

Monday marked Krummen’s second time running the Boston Marathon, and she said it is an unmatched experience.

“Boston is such a fun, unique experience. You’re surrounded by other people who worked so hard to get there, and you focus on your own goals, you’re not comparing yourself to anyone else. I mean, the whole city shuts down for this.”

Tanchon agreed.

“It was just a strange day. Usually there is all this excitement and joy – everybody has to qualify with Boston,” she said. “Everybody worked very hard to be there. Boston is about hard work and dedication more than every other marathon.”

She said the day reaffirmed what she loves about the running community.

“I feel inspired,” Tanchon said. “Loving people comes before the (finishing) time.”


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