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Folsom runner safe after explosions at Boston Marathon

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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No amount of running the trails around Folsom could prepare Jeremy Brown for the tragic events surrounding the Boston Marathon.

Brown, of Folsom, was one of thousands of those who laced up their shoes Monday and hit the pavement to participate in the annual run.

Shortly after he cleared the finish line, the race had its abrupt end.

“I had to push hard to finish under four hours,” he posted on Facebook. “I was around the corner. Everyone froze but it took a while before people realized what was going on.”

Brown said when the explosions rocked the area, he was waiting for a bus, not too far from the finish.

“We could hear it, since it was pretty close,” he told the Telegraph. “In fact, I was surprised when I saw how small the explosions were when I saw them on TV. It was a big boom.”

From the comfort of his hotel room, Brown said in a phone interview he wasn’t sure what to make of the events of the day.

“When I heard it, I sent a message to my wife. Just a few minutes after that, they cut cell service in the city,” he said. According to officials, cell service wasn’t cut, but was severely impacted by heavy use. “It sounded like lightning striking right around the corner from us. Quite a while after that, we could tell it wasn’t a car backfiring or anything normal like that. It was about 15 minutes after that before we knew what happened. We knew something out of the ordinary had happened.”

He said people were stunned and confused.

“When it first happened, everybody just stopped and looked at each other,” Brown said. “Then people started milling around (and) then it really sunk in what happened. It was kind of eerie, being just around the corner (and) we didn’t know what had happened.”

He said his family and friends were concerned, but his one message was able to get through.

“My wife was waiting at the hotel about 30 miles outside of Boston. I got one message off to her when cell service cut off,” he said. “Once I could get word out, people were relieved. When I got out of the city, my cell service came back and I was able to get a message out.”

Brown said he’s “trying to work through” what’s happened.

“It’s strange to be so close but still a step removed from it. I wasn’t any more personally impacted by this than 9-11,” he said. “Being so close to actually hear it, it will take some time to feel what I think about it. … I mean, I don’t really understand what happened.”

He qualified to run the Boston Marathon almost two years ago.

“I ran my qualifying race at CIM in December 2011, so I was training for a good two years,” he said. “This was a big deal and was the race on my calendar. This is the only thing that’s been on the horizon for me for the last year-and-a-half.”