Phil was receiving text messages from numbers across America, but it was the one that came 30-45 minutes after the bombs exploded that gave him the most relief:
“At last half mile, 2 bombs went off at finish. Here for 45 minutes. Held on course. ...”
The next one came from a new number telling Phil that they were with his wife. He responded but found out that the person was no longer with Noel, so he responded, “Thanks for your kindness.”
Monday was a flashback, as for many Oklahomans, to April 19, 1995, when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred.
Eighteen years ago this week, Phil and Noel, who have a law firm in Edmond, were at the state courthouse, located directly down the street from that explosion.
“I remember some of those feelings,” Phil Tucker told The Oklahoman. “As soon as I heard, I flashed back memory wise to those days. It's a deal where you just don't know until you know. We're just glad she was kind of slower for that finish hill.
“A block can be all the difference in the world.”
Serenity never came
Phil Kenkel didn't want to admit his final time was more than 4 hours. He was just trying to enjoy the race.
He previously ran nine marathons, but the Boston Marathon was one he was really excited run, especially after all the years it took to qualify and the training it took to make it to April 15.
When the blast went off, Kenkel said he just focused on the mile in front of him. When he crossed the line, he was handed a medal and told to “keep going.”
He had planned to collapse at the end of the race, grab some water and food and watch other runners finish their dream.
“I wanted to enjoy the moment,” he said.
But that moment of serenity never came.
That final part of his last mile, he ran in the same direction as volunteers in white coats, police in black jackets and civilians in street clothes who ran for their lives and to help others.
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