Josh Sherwood, a 2012 SAU graduate in business management, had just finished the Boston Marathon and was heading back to a local hotel with SAU cross country coach Corey Towle when the explosions ripped through spectators and runners at the finish line.
“We were two to three blocks away from the explosion and were actually walking towards it at the time,” Sherwood said. “When the first one went off we didn’t really know what was happening and then all of the police took off towards the incident.”
The frenzy initially confused Sherwood and others who weren’t around to see the explosions.
“People then were walking towards us looking very panicked and some actually stopped and told us not to go the direction in which we were heading, but no one really knew what was going on still,” Sherwood continued. “We continued to head towards the hotel which was three blocks away and then we finally heard what had happened when we got into the elevator.”
Sherwood said he believed the police and other law enforcement agencies handled the situation as best they could after locking down hotels and stopping other runners in the marathon to search for devices.
“We stayed in the hotel room for quite a while watching the news,” Sherwood said. “They locked down the front of that hotel, anything facing towards the incident, and were searching to see if they could find any evidence.”
The bombing occurred almost four hours into a race that had already seen more than 17,000 runners cross the finish line. Sherwood crossed the finish line just 23 minutes before the first explosion.
“I actually ran a really bad race,” Sherwood said. “I was cramping in my calves and quads starting before mile 20 so I was forced to walk and jog when I could. I had qualified with a 2:48 and ended up finishing this race at about 3:46 and the first explosion went off at approximately 4:09 or so into the race.”
Like many runners declared after the event, Sherwood said this attack wouldn’t deter him from running at the Boston Marathon in the future.
“This will not stop me from going back. I plan on trying to qualify at maybe the Quad Cities Marathon or the Des Moines Marathon and going back next year. We can’t let them win,” Sherwood said.