At least 16 Chattanooga-area residents were entrants in the Boston Marathon that was rocked by two explosions this afternoon.
Marathon participant and Ringgold resident Matthew Amick traveled to Boston with his wife, Angela. Amick told Nooga.com he completed the race at 1:42 p.m. and estimates he had only been gone from the area about 10 to 15 minutes before the explosions occurred. He said he learned of the bombings from Twitter while traveling back to his friends' house.
"My wife is here with me, and we're staying with friends ... they all were actually standing in the area that the explosions happened," Amick said. "It feels weird to look at the pictures shown on TV and know we were just there."
Amick completed the race in three hours, 39 minutes and 16 seconds. Reflecting on his performance during the race, he said he knew it could've impacted his wife and friends.
"If I had a worse race than I did, they certainly could’ve been impacted," he said. "My friends had their child in a stroller there. Thinking about that makes me feel weird. If I had run any slower, that could’ve impacted them."
Like many, Amick has experienced an outpouring of support from friends and family on Facebook. He posted a message saying he finished the race, was safe and felt sick about the bombings.
One commenter on his post said, "Glad to know you are safe ... Congrats on finishing. I'm sorry this has to dampen your day."
It's hard to process comments like that, he said.
"They know it's been very difficult to qualify and get here ... For me, not only did I finish, but even if I hadn't, the marathon means very little in light of the true events that happened."
During the interview, Amick's wife received word that fellow Ringgold resident and marathon participant Lisa Logan was safe. "Lisa Logan is fine," he said.
Amick said that although the scope of the tragedy is much broader than the marathon, he hopes the people of Boston don't lose their pride in the event and in the people who come to it.
"I think we feel the same way everyone feels, that we hope they catch the people who did this," he said. "That’s our hope."
CNN reports as of 7:08 p.m. there are two deaths and at least 100 injured.
Tracking information on the Boston Marathon website shows 10 of the local entrants completed the race.
This is a developing story, and Nooga.com will post updates as information becomes available.