Local Runner on Marathon Bombing: "I thought it was a cannon going off for celebration."

By: Ashley Arnold Email
By: Ashley Arnold Email

14 locals registered to run the Boston Marathon on Monday and a number of them were close by when the bombs exploded.

For runner Rebecca Vahabzadeh and her boyfriend Geoff McConnell, the blast wasn't something they were concerned about when they first heard it.

"We just heard some really big booms and we had no idea what was going on at all," Vahabzadeh said. "What was going through your mind when you heard that?" "What was that - maybe, maybe it was construction, maybe it was like a cannon."

McConnell agree, "I thought it was a cannon going off for celebration. I was walking towards the finish line trying to find her and the second one went off probably within 2 to 3 seconds from the first one."

However their thoughts all changed when they saw officials heading to the finish line.

"All of a sudden, ambulances started streaming through," she recalled.

"I saw smoke starting to come from the finish line and at that point I knew something was wrong," he said.

While Vahabzadeh was about two blocks away from the blast, McConnell was only 100 feet away, shielded by two buses.

"I saw the explosion, I saw the smoke plumes coming up, I felt the percussion from the blast and I definitely heard it, it made my ears ring a little bit."

Despite what they saw and experience, both say they believe the bombing was an isolated incident.

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