Judge Jay Quam recalls Boston Marathon experience - New York News

Judge Jay Quam recalls Boston Marathon experience

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Marathon runners from Minnesota continue returning home from Boston and their feelings still very raw.

After years of training, qualifying and finally crossing the finish line, Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam, wanted to remember his Boston marathon experience as a personal triumphant but it turned profoundly tragic.

Jeff Passolt: "You've seen or heard plenty of strange, sometimes awful things in your courtroom. But could you ever imagine something like this at the Boston marathon?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Not anything on this scale at all I mean the Boston Marathon is one of the greatest celebrations in the world you've got thousands of runners with their dreams coming true, hundreds of thousands of spectators and it turns into a massive tragedy just like that."

Jeff Passolt: "And this is the first time you've been in this race, it was kind of a bucket list thing you said you're daughter helped put you up to?"

Judge Jay Quam: "It was yeah, I've been dreaming about it for about thirty years but you kind of put those on the back burner sometimes and I trained and I qualified and I was looking forward to it. It was really one of the things I really wanted to do."

Jeff Passolt: "Can you take us through yesterday. Walk us through the sequence of events. How did this unfold for you?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Yeah I crossed the finish line and I don't know if you've run a marathon Jeff or not but you feel pretty crummy usually afterwards so I stopped about 50 yards afterwards and was cramping up and called a friend of mine who was training right in front of the marathon sports store where the second bomb blew up and then I tried to call my family to try to coordinate where we would meet and they started moving down the line a little was and I got about a block and a half away and met up with my wife and daughter and that's when we heard the explosions."

Jeff Passolt: "So you were a block and half away?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Yeah that's right about that. So I wouldn't say the zone of danger where people are getting injured but it was certainly close enough to feel the blast and to hear a very loud explosion."

Jeff Passolt: "And when you heard that did you know initially something was wrong? Or did you think this was surreal, this isn't really happening? What was going through your mind?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Well the first one you don't really know what it is it doesn't seem like it's in the right place and when you hear the second one a few seconds later that's when you start to eliminate the possibilities. You think...what can that be and especially given the environment of the Boston Marathon it really can only be one thing and that's some type of terroristic attack."

Jeff Passolt: "Were you scared? What was your gut instinct at that moment?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Yeah you know it's one of those things that you probably get more scared after the fact than doing it yet at the time you have to decide what to do and it seemed to make the most sense to move away from where the blasts occurred so that's what we and most of the runners did."

"Yeah that was one of the things that was most amazing is that if you can't prevent an attack like this you can certainly respond to it and I would say within two minutes there was probably forty or fifty emergency response vehicles moving toward the scene, it was really remarkable how well prepared they were.

Jeff Passolt: "And a lot of people were saying that's why we didn't have so many casualties despite some very critical injuries. Is everybody in your family doing okay?"

Judge Jay Quam: "Everyone's doing fine you know it's one of those things that you look back on and you feel a little unsettled because if you were lucky and you weren't one of the ones that were in the blast area you know somebody else wasn't so lucky, it's a very sobering feeling."

Jeff Passolt: "Well we're glad to see you here, your family safe and sound and we appreciate you coming by."

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