Lone Tree resident Hannah Bailey was waiting in a Boston Marathon medical tent for treatment for a runner’s injury when the bombs detonated.
Bailey, 37, a stay-at-home mother, had crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon at 2:09 p.m. April 15. The bombs exploded seconds apart at 2:49 p.m.
“I was lying there on the cot when I heard the first explosion go off,” Bailey said. “Very quickly after that, I heard the doctor say, ‘We need to get these people up and out of here. We’ve got people coming in.’
“They very quickly discharged me. As soon as I walked out of the medics’ tent, first responders were trying to get by. It was just mass chaos.”
Three people were killed and more than 170 injured during the dual blasts. Authorities still are seeking suspects. But standing outside the tent, Bailey didn’t know any of that yet.
“I knew something had happened but didn’t quite understand what it was until I heard somebody on their cell phone saying, ‘Explosion. Don’t come to Boston.’
“As soon as I knew something had gone wrong, I felt absolute panic and fear because I didn’t know where my family was,” she said.
That wasn’t an easy task. Bailey’s bag, including her cell phone, was a city block away. She couldn’t call her husband Nick and best friend Melissa, both of whom were in Boston.
“People were running everywhere,” she said. “It was very difficult to find my family because of the chaos. I was just praying they would be OK.”
She found them, safe and sound, about half an hour later.
Though Bailey didn’t witness the horrific injuries many of the 170-plus victims suffered, she described the experience as “very terrifying.”
Like most of the thousands who run in the world’s oldest annual marathon, participating in the event was her long-held dream.
“When I started running 2½ years ago, all I wanted to do was run Boston,” she said. “I thought it would be so neat to one day be able to qualify.
“In the end, it didn’t quite end up exactly as I thought.”
Boston was her eighth marathon. It will not be her last.
“I am not deterred at all,” she said. “There are evil people in this world, and it’s too bad that has to exist, but we have to live, and we have to live by faith.”