Marathon spectator from Phoenix recalls chaos in Boston - New York News

Marathon spectator from Phoenix recalls chaos in Boston

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PHOENIX -

Ann Wallack, owner of Runner's Den in Phoenix, is in Boston. She was at the marathon cheering on her niece, who finished the race about 20 minutes before the two explosions.

"We could see people crying and hugging and very concerned. We walked out to find out what happened," said Wallack.

She and her niece had just left the race and returned to their hotel, which was located just a couple hundred yards from the finish line at the Boston marathon.

"The hotel had a lockdown, there was no cell service so we couldn't call anybody even though we got a million texts from people asking if we were ok. We loved their concern, even though we couldn't respond to them," said Wallack.

From her hotel room, she watched the aftermath of the two explosions. Wallack says the sound of sirens continued for hours.

"I think the sirens have just recently stopped. There were probably nonstop sirens from emergency vehicles for 3 hours. I have never seen so many policemen, emergency personnel, there are state police, local police, FBI, SWAT teams."

Hours after the blasts, there were still plenty of runners who hadn't yet finished the race. She watched as buses dropped them off at the finish line.

"They look sad and forlorn. They're just being directed to a corner to pick up their bags. Apparently everything had to be searched before they could pick it up again."

Wallack says despite how devastating this is, she saw moments of strength.

"For someone to spoil such a wonderful celebration it's unfortunate, but for every bad thing that happens thousands of people pitch in and help and that's what we're seeing right now."

Wallack tweeted "thank you" to everyone who reached out today with concern. She says she and her family are certainly counting their blessings.

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