Two explosions at the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three and injured more than 170 and lead to local concern for Geneseo residents known to be at the race.
However, two Geneseo residents who ran the race — Chad Ford and Steve Dellett — had finished before the explosions occurred.
Steve's daughter, Sarah, a junior at Geneseo High School, also was in Boston watching the marathon.
The Delletts, Ford and their friends Neal Gombeski and Catherine Pfeifer were all together at the time of the explosions. "Thankfully," said Sarah.
"We were on the subway platform about six blocks away waiting for a train," she said. "In retrospect, it's actually very frightening that we were in a potentially targetable place."
She first learned of the explosions from Eric "Fisher" Jepsen, a 2012 Geneseo graduate attending school at MIT in Boston.
"He called me two minutes after the explosions while we were waiting for the train, and I couldn't hear him very well. I definitely remember him saying there were two of something, but beyond that, I had no idea what he meant because the service underground wasn't that good," she said.
"He texted me 10 minutes later that there were bombs, and we were all shocked. By then, Fisher knew we were OK and told me, 'People are dead, definitely,'" Sarah remembers. "We got off at our stop and ran into a cafe to look at a TV. A lady told us the reports had been going on for about 15 minutes. We couldn't believe it."
The group then returned to Gombeski and Pfeifer's apartment in Somerville, Mass., to watch the news.
"It was definitely a thought-provoking experience to know that the live reports were being relayed to us only two cities away," said Sarah. "The atmosphere was honestly quite puzzling and, at first, we thought it may have been a transformer that exploded."
Sarah said she sent a text message to her mother, Nora. "I texted 'We're OK,' wondering if she knew what I would mean."
As the afternoon's events unfolded, Sarah said she was contacted by a number of people who knew the group was in Boston.
"We had no trouble getting in contact with family and friends because we weren't in the immediate area," she said. "At the apartment, we were all seeking out information from the Internet and the TV."
While at the airport in Boston prior to catching their flight back to Illinois, Sarah said, "The airport had a very solemn feeling, along with heightened security. It didn't seem like anyone wanted to talk about it."
She added, "I'm counting my lucky stars that my dad and Chad had both finished more than an hour before and am keeping the victims in my prayers."