Marathon runners on their way home reflect at Logan
Runners in bright yellow and blue Boston Marathon jackets were everywhere at Logan International Airport Tuesday, headed home after a horrific day in which three people were killed and more than 100 were injured in a bomb blast at the finish line.
Many people came hours early for their flights, expecting long security lines that didn’t materialize. Parking lot attendants opened car trunks and armed State Police officers and US Custom and Border Protection agents roamed the terminals.
Some runners waiting for their flights finished the race, some didn’t. All were deeply affected by theattack.
Karen Seyffarth, a math professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, said she has mixed feelings about wearing her marathon jacket, partly because she was prevented from finishing the race, and partly because of the horrible memories it evokes.
“I’m happy to be leaving Boston,” said Seyffarth, who was running her second Boston Marathon and isn’t sure she’ll do another major race that could be the target of a similar terrorist attack. “It’s sad because the marathon is such an iconic event here, and it will never be the same again.”
Joseph Kaiser, of Germany, who was also kept from finishing the race, his 15th marathon, had a different take on his marathon gear.
“I’ll wear my T-shirt with pride,” he said. “It’s in honor of the brothers and sisters who suffered.”
Paul Miller, a geologist from Calgary who ran the race with his wife, Janet, said the timing of the bombing, long after the elite runners had crossed the finish line, was meant to spread terror among average citizens.
“It was aimed at people like us, who qualified by five minutes,” said Miller, who had crossed the finish line less than two minutes before the blasts. “If you target ordinary people doing remarkable things, that’s a maximum hit.”
Frank and Janie Gumpert, on their way back to Sacramento, were in the grandstands waiting for a friend to cross the finish line when the bombs exploded. They had been enjoying Boston until Monday, dining in the North End and touring the John F. Kennedy Library. But they canceled their scheduled tour of the Samuel Adams brewery Tuesday to arrive at the airport five hours early instead. “You just want to be home,” Janie Gumpert said.Katie Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.