What started as a perfect day for one of the most recognizable marathons in the world ended in chaos, and Tacoma resident and avid runner Kirk Isakson was stuck right in the middle.
“Today started as a perfect day,” said Kirk Isakson, retired videographer and instructor from Pacific Lutheran University. He said blue skies greet thousands at the Boston Marathon, including dozens of runners from Pierce and King counties.
Isakson finished the Boston Marathon in just under four hours, fifteen minutes before two bombs detonated near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 140.
Isakson had reunited with his wife about a block away from the explosions.
“After the second explosion I said to my wife ‘that doesn’t sound good at all’ and we immediately went to our hotel,” Isakson said.
Isakson’s hotel was on Stuart Street, a busy throughway he said was immediately populated with emergency vehicles from a number of agencies. He said the FBI was on the scene within an hour of the explosions.
About 4,500 runners still on the marathon’s course were diverted from the afflicted area, Isakson said, and were bused to Boston Commons.
“It’s scary stuff,” Isakson said. “Here’s this nationally known event going on and it has been marked by tragedy.”
Isakson said he was impressed with the quick emergency response. The finish line was completely cleared of spectators and runners within 10 minutes, he said.
It is premature to know how the marathon will respond to the thousands of runners who were unable to finish the race, but Isakson said the officials responded the way they should have.
“They’re as stunned as anybody,” he said. “They did the right thing by cancelling the remainder of the race and securing the safety of the people still out on the course.”
Kari Plog: 253-597-8682