The hotel reacted quickly. It went on lockdown. The Morgans, though, were rushed through a basement and carried their luggage through the Prudential Center, Morgan said, in order to find a taxi that would take them to the airport.
Morgan told The Oklahoman last Monday was his third Boston Marathon.
“It’s a race where everyone works hard to get there,” he said. “The city embraces it. It’s very sad. We’re very sorry for the victims and the city of Boston and what it will mean for the Boston Marathon.
“This is just another thing to take away from us, but we can’t let it happen.”
Jason Collins: Newkirk
Jason Collins used his finish time from the 2012 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon to qualify for this year’s Boston Marathon.
A physical education teacher and girl’s basketball coach at Newkirk, Collins completed 12 marathons and three Boston Marathons in a row, including his finish last Monday.
He went into the marathon store, where the explosions went off by, every day when he was in Boston.
“In my mind now, I’ve wondered, ‘What if I would have been looking at shoes and the explosions happened,” Collins said.
But he wasn’t anywhere near Bolyston Street when the tragedy occurred.
He was on the airport shuttle to catch a flight back to Oklahoma so he could be back at school on Tuesday when the shuttle driver asked him if he ran earlier that day.
That’s when he learned of the bombings.
The next morning, he walked into school in a blue and gold race jacket he bought at the race expo, like he has done the previous two years.
“It’s kind of like my bragging rights,” he said. “I don’t wear my medal.”
But this year, it meant even more to him.
David Wray: Oklahoma City
Almost an hour passed since he crossed the finish line and David Wray and fellow Landrunners companion Ryan Siler were hoping to do a cool down in the hotel pool.
Wray heard the first bomb go off from his room on the 28th floor of the Westin hotel located around the block from the finish line. He ran to the window and saw the second explode.
“Being up 28 floors, you can see several streets,” Wray told The Oklahoman. “People were running every way as fast as they could.”
Like Phillips and Tucker, Wray had flashbacks to 18 years ago. He worked at the Classen Circle Building then and thought a construction truck had backed into the building that day. His office faced downtown and he soon saw the big explosion, just like he saw on Monday in Boston.
Wray’s voice cracked as he spoke: “Unfortunately, this is my second time to have first-hand experience with stupidity.”
Many of the Oklahoman runners that ran last Monday expressed the same remarks about the city in response to tragedy. They shined. Restaurants opened their doors and invited you in off the street to be able to watch the news and stay safe. Police officers constantly asked if you needed directions, if you needed anything. When the bombers ran away, the police and volunteers rushed in. Countless stories have been told of spectators who were doctors or EMS trained in medical emergency rushing to aid.
The runners who ran Boston before remarked that these kind of people shined through during every marathon, but especially on Monday.
They were strong. Boston strong.