Columbia Runners Coming to Terms with Boston Explosions

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BOSTON - As law enforcement authorities are investigating who was behind the two bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon, most participants from mid-Missouri headed home Tuesday.

Columbia participant Dawn Castagno-Dysart and her husband Chris Dysart are staying in Boston one more night and agreed to meet with KOMU 8 News at the location where they experienced Monday's explosions. The two bombs went off at 2:50 p.m. near the finish line, 10 to 15 seconds apart from each other.

Several blocks were closed Tuesday for law enforcement authorities to investigate the circumstances of the explosions.

Chris Dysart said had been standing near the finish line--only about 100 feet away from where one of the explosions went off. He said he moved to the lobby of The Hotel just before the blast and was two blocks away when it actually happened.

"I just saw people with jackets and wraps around them, frantic, screaming, saying there were explosions and they wanted to know where their friends were," said Dysart, who was frightened by the situation and had instant associations of 9/11.

He said the scenery, filled with military personnel in camouflage, trucks, ambulances and police cars, evoked those memories.

"I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. I didn't want to be downtown Boston, I was afraid there were more bombs," said Dysart.

Dysart went upstairs to his wife Dawn Castagno-Dysart who was changing clothes from the race. They immediately turned on the TV and tried getting in touch with their friends who were still outside.

"There was worry and fear that something had happened to our friends or if anyone had gotten hurt. We were seeing pictures of all this blood. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was in a kind of shock," said Castagno-Dysart.

One of their friends had been very close to the explosion and was crying when they reached her. Another friend had been stopped before the finish line. None of them were injured.

The latest figures show a total of 3 deaths and 176 injured. 17 are in critical condition. Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy who was cheering for his father to finish the race.

"I feel sad that people died and got hurt. It was something that was supposed to be exciting and fun. But I am relieved that all my friends and my husband was okay," said Castagno-Dysart.