Hours after the blasts, on the outer edge of the Boston Common, across from the Public Garden, Royal Courtain was with his wife, Cindy, as heavily armed police and swat officers with automatic weapons entered the Common.
Courtain was about 100 yards from the finish line when the explosions occurred. Cindy had just finished her first Boston Marathon.
“I crossed the finish line and saw the bodies. People were on the course rolling around, probably from the noise,” he said. “I saw injuries.” He paused and covered his face. “Some missing legs.” After the worst 30 minutes of his life, Courtain got a call from his wife saying she was unhurt.
The Boston Athletic Association called Monday “a sad day for the city of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon,” in a statement. “What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.”
Mark Arsenault can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Travis Andersen, Billy Baker, Brian Ballou, Laura Crimaldi, Kevin Cullen, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Kay Lazar, Shelley Murphy, Maria Cramer, Michael Rezendes, Maria Sacchetti, and Lisa Wangsness of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Derek J. Anderson and Todd Feathers contributed.