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Runner grateful to be alive

Initially, there was disappointment for Red Wing's Monique DeLong when she crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Dealing with an injury, Delong finished with a time of 3 hours, 59 minutes, 36 seconds, about 25 minutes later than she had hoped for.

But almost 10 minutes later, that feeling went from disappointment to panic to relief as Boston was thrown into chaos.

On Monday afternoon, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 140, according to the Associated Press Monday night.

DeLong, along with her husband and her parents, were unharmed during the explosions.

"It was a sad deal; the Boston Marathon is a world-renown sporting event with all the pageantry and the people that come out to spectate," DeLong said by phone on Monday. "I just finished crossing the finish line about seven to 10 minutes before, and then I heard all these bombs go off after I finished.

"I went from being disappointed to being grateful that I was alive."

Shortly after crossing the finish line, DeLong said she was talking to a friend from Utah, facing the finish line during their conversation. DeLong said she could feel the vibration as the bombs exploded over a block away. She said there wasn't a lot of time to react during the chaotic scene.

"I said, 'What is that? That's not fireworks; that's something big,'" DeLong said. "Then I said, 'Oh my goodness, that's a bomb.' I could tell it was at the finish line. That's really scary, with all the runners pulling in, and with about 3,500 fans coming out of the Red Sox game. There was a ton of people in downtown Boston."

Following the blasts, DeLong and her family returned safely to their hotel nine miles outside of Boston.

"It put things into perspective," DeLong said. "I finished 25 minutes later than I wanted to, but that really pales in comparison to everything that happened after I finished.

"I felt very fortunate to be OK, and it certainly makes me thankful."

Another area runner, Summer Groth of Goodhue, finished the Boston Marathon in 3:33:18.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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