British runners today spoke of their horror after being caught up in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Bev Dowrick, who ran alongside her husband and another couple, crossed the finishing line 20 minutes before the blasts.
Physiotherapist Bev, of Plymouth, Devon, said: “Right now the four of us are veering between elation that we are safe, elation that we finished the marathon and absolute disbelief that we have been caught up in something like this and people have lost their lives.
“First you feel the explosion, then you hear the bang and then you obviously see the smoke. There were two explosions. Everyone just stood still. There was a sense of disbelief.”
Marcus Mumford, 34, a flood prevention engineer from Bristol, had just returned to his hotel four blocks away when he heard the blasts.
He said: “We didn’t know what it was, but it was really loud. Then we had someone come up to our room and check we were OK. We obviously put two and two together.
“We were in the TV room of the hotel watching the coverage and seeing the horrific pictures of where I was just an hour before.
“It’s hard putting it into context that I was just running down that street. I’m just in a state of shock at the moment.”
Sports writer Mark Jenkin, 34, of Barnstaple in Devon, was also taking part in the marathon.
He wrote on his blog: “When I arrived back at my hotel no one knew anything about what had happened.
“But by the time I got to my room, all I could hear were police and ambulance sirens and helicopters outside.
“My hotel is on Berkeley Street, a few blocks away from the finish line. Everyone at the hotel seems stunned.
“We are just sat around in the TV room downstairs trying to take it all in. It’s a beautiful spring afternoon in Boston.
“The people of the city put on a great race and it’s such a tragedy this has happened.
“I was feeling tired and a bit disappointed with my time in the race but all that seems irrelevant now. I just feel grateful to be OK.”