Deanne Webster, a 1993 Crown Point Central School graduate, poses with her official bid number prior to the 117th Boston Marathon. Webster had completed the race and was near the finish when two terrorist bombs exploded.
Deanne Webster expected her first Boston Marathon to be memorable, she just didn’t know it would be tragic.
Webster, a 1993 Crown Point Central School graduate, crossed the finished line at the 117th Boston Marathon April 15 before the two terrorist bombs exploded, killing three and injuring more than 180 people. She had just left the finish corral when the attack took place.
“I knew my first Boston Marathon was going to be something I would always remember, but I never imagined it would turn out this way, in tragedy and horror,” Webster said via Facebook.
Webster completed the 26 mile, 385 yard course in 3 hours, 47 minutes, 14 seconds.
“I finished the race around 2:10 p.m. and it took me a half hour to get my medal and bags,” she relayed. “I was exhausted and on the verge of throwing up, so I rushed out of the finish corral area, which was jam packed with people.”
The explosions, 12 seconds apart, took place at 2:50 p.m. Webster, who was in Boston with a friend, Kelly, was still near the finish line.
“I ended up getting lost and circling the block,” Webster said. “I ended up having to stop and ask for directions. Luckily, I was sent in the other direction on Boylston Street (where the race finished). When I reached the next intersection, I heard a loud explosion and saw smoke ahead of me within the next block. I turned down the intersection and heard another explosion at which point I freaked out and started running down the side street away from the crowds.
“There was a lot of confusion, no one knew what was going on,” Webster posted. “Many people thought it was a celebration of some sort, but I knew it was bad because they wouldn’t shoot a cannon off for Patriots Day near all those people.
“It took me an hour to get back to the hotel because I was lost and panicking,” she continued. “The staff at the Hilton Back Bay were caring and helpful to all the runners and spectators who went there for shelter. Kelly convinced me to pack all of our things and check out immediately. She knew how to get out of the city since she lived there in the past. I was hesitant to leave due the chaos on the streets and finally feeling safe, but I trusted her and wanted to get out of there. We returned to Albany late last night (April 15).”
Webster, who earned a degree in accounting from SUNY-Plattsburgh, now works for the New York State Office of the Comptroller. She lives in Albany. She still has family living in Crown Point.
“I am still sort of in shock and extremely sad,” Webster said. “My thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Boston will get through this. I feel blessed to be back home safely.”
So far, no connection has been made to any terror group or terrorist.
“There is no reporting indicating a foreign connection, or any reaction from al Qaeda,” a senior U.S. official said in news reports.
President Obama described it as a terrorism act, but said it is unclear whether it was the work of a group or “a malevolent individual.”