Local runner Tanya Collum stands at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Sunday, one day before two deadly bombs detonated in that area.

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Local runner completes Boston Marathon just before bombs detonate

Published 6:04am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tanya Collum had just completed her third Boston Marathon and was making her way back to her hotel room Monday afternoon when the unimaginable happened.
“I finished about 20 minutes before the explosions and was walking back to my hotel, which is five blocks away,” said Collum, who lives on the Franklin-Colbert county line near Coon Dog Cemetery.
The explosions she referred to were two bomb blasts detonated about 3 p.m. CDT near the finish line of the race, which attracted more than 23,000 runners from around the world.
“I was about two blocks from the finish line when I heard two explosions and was pretty sure it was a bomb. I hurried back to my room. At that point it became very scary.”
Collum completed the race in three hours and 48 minutes. But the most important time she made on Monday was the 20-minute difference from her completion to the bombs’ detonation.
“I saw the chaos two blocks away,” said Collum, still stunned by the afternoon’s events.
“People were crying and heading toward the finish. It was probably families trying to check on loved ones. Police and emergency vehicles were trying to get to the finish line. It was difficult for them because of the crowd. This is very upsetting to be in the area of a terrorist attack.”
Collum and her family were set to leave Boston early Tuesday morning.
Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the race on Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 130.
The fiery blasts took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and some runners off their feet.
Boston-area hospitals reported at least 134 injured, at least 15 of them critically. The victims’ injuries included broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums. Dozens of amputations were reportedly needed, including one pair of brothers who both had leg amputations after being hit with what appeared to be ball bearings from the devices.
Authorities have shed no light on a motive or who may have carried out the bombings, and police said they had no suspects in custody. Authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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