UPDATE: New information on Cedar Valley residents in Boston

2013-04-16T09:30:00Z 2013-09-18T10:39:36Z UPDATE: New information on Cedar Valley residents in BostonBy EMILY CHRISTENSEN, emily.christensen@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- Additional Cedar Valley area participants and spectators at Tuesday’s Boston Marathon are counting their blessings after Tuesday’s terror attack there.

Scott Andreasen had just ordered a post-race meal at a restaurant a few blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line when the first explosion sounded.

“I didn’t immediately assume it was a bomb,” he said. “I thought maybe two trucks had hit or maybe a cannon. Then we looked out the window and saw people in the streets turning and pointing and running and crying. There were police cars and ambulances flying down the street. It was very reminiscent of the footage we saw on 9/11.”

Andreasen is a 1993 Cedar Falls High School graduate now living in Kansas City. He was running his first Boston Marathon. He finished the race in 3 hours and 36 minutes, about 30 minutes before the bombs exploded at the finish line.

Ann Andreasen, Scott’s mother, said after just a few moments of consideration they decided to leave the restaurant and walk away from the “where everything was happening.”

Scott, who was still in his race gear, said walking was the last thing he wanted to do after a 26.2 mile run, but there wasn’t any other option.

The family ended up at a flea market in south Boston and unable to find a cab back to their hotel. Public transportation had come to a halt in the wake of the bombing, she said.

“One of the ladies who worked (at the flea market) said she was leaving in about 20 minutes and would drive us back to the hotel. It was in the opposite direction of where she lived, but she was so kind to help us,” Ann said.

Waterloo City Council member Bob Greenwood, in Boston with is wife Chery, was watching a family member compete at the time of the explosion.

“Our sister in law Mary Jo Goerdt was running,” Greenwood said via text message to the Courier. “We saw her at mile 21 which is in front of Boston College. Her husband Terry and brother- and sister-in-law Pat and Eldie Ries from Dyersville, and Dan and Jen Goerdt from Crystal Lake, Ill., were then driving to the finish line. Mary Jo was one half mile from finish line when the device exploded. Terry, Eldie and Patty were walking to the finish line, we got stuck in traffic. The EMS and police response was unbelievable .

“We are all safe -- coming home tomorrow. So sad for the victims and families,” Greenwood wrote.

Courier staffer Pat Kinney contributed to this report.

EARLIER STORY

By ANDREW WIND

andrew.wind@wcfcourier.com

WATERLOO, Iowa --- None of the Cedar Valley residents participating in the Boston Marathon Monday were injured by a pair of explosions that rocked the finish line and took two lives.

At least nine area residents from Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Dike, Hudson and Reinbeck ran in the marathon. Courier staffers were able to make contact with eight of those people or their friends or family to confirm they are safe. Another news organization said the final person was safe.

Lisa Sevcik of Cedar Falls had three sons, all students at Iowa State University, running in the race. She was unaware that anything had happened when her son, Joey Sevcik, called to say they were safe. He and his brothers, Daniel and David, were among 11 members of the Iowa State Running Club participating in the marathon. The brothers are all Cedar Falls High School graduates.

News reports indicate the first explosion went off at about 4 hours and 9 minutes. The brothers’ finish times included David, 2 hours 39 minutes; Daniel, 3:03; and Joey, 3:36. This was the third Boston Marathon for seniors Daniel and David, and the first for Joey, a junior.

“We were coming home from somewhere when he called and said he just wanted us to know they were OK,” Lisa said. “We ran into the house and turned on the TV.

“One just called and they were looking out the window and watching all this and they said people were still running in, but people were out there trying to stop the people from going,” she said.

Joey Sevcik, reached by phone shortly after 3 p.m. Monday, learned about the blast when “people’s phones started going off” as they were walking into the Boston Hotel Buckminster, where they were staying. The hotel is less than a mile from the finish line.

“We had just finished up the race and we were all heading back as a team,” Sevcik said. “We might have been on the subway” when the devices went off.

“We don’t know exactly,” he added. “I thought I heard a little boom, but I didn’t think anything of it. But I could be remembering that wrongly now.

Sevcik had received safe reports from everyone he knew participating.

“We’ve seen a lot of police cars go by, and we’ve been hearing sirens constantly, fire engines,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere else. We’re just staying in our hotel watching CNN right now and looking at Twitter updates.”

Sevcik noted the marathon’s finishing straightaway is a very dense area of people. “Thousands upon thousands of people were around,” he said. “Police every 4 or 5 feet away from each other.”

It surprised five-time Boston Marathon runner Jamie Stensland of Waverly that the explosion happened in that area. “That’s where they have the most security and the most police,” she said. “It just goes to show that if someone wants something to happen bad enough they’ll find a way, and so it’s very sad.”

Stensland, 47, qualified to participate in the race with her finish in September’s Quad Cities Marathon, but couldn’t go because of a back injury 1-1/2 years ago. “I had decided probably six weeks ago for sure that I could not run it because of my back.”

Nonetheless, friends were concerned after hearing about the explosions, getting in touch with text messages and phone calls. “I’ve been receiving phone call after phone call saying, ‘Please tell me you didn’t run,’” she said.

Stensland, who was still thinking Sunday about whether she could catch a flight and run the marathon despite her back injury, had “very mixed emotions” about missing the race as she heard the news.

“I probably would have been near or close to the finish line,” she said, when the explosions happened. Family or friends might have been nearby, as well, putting them in danger.

Katie Hansen, 22, of Hudson, also received a lot of voice and text messages after the explosion, but her phone wouldn’t work for the first hour. She was part of the Iowa State Runners Club group that made it safely back to their hotel rooms. Eventually, Hansen was able to post on Facebook that she was uninjured.

“It was really cool, all the support and everyone who was worried about it,” she said.

“I guess I’m in shock and am glad that our group is all together and OK,” she added, noting it’s “craziness that this could happen anywhere.”

Waterloo resident Brooke Krantz, a Cedar Falls police officer, finished the marathon 20 to 30 minutes before the explosions, according to her father.

“We did hear from Brooke and she is OK, but I was able to talk to her only briefly because of cell phone connections,” said Rich Carlson, of Waterloo. The 34-year-old woman was close enough to the blasts to hear the commotion but she didn’t initially know what had happened, he said.

Carlson talked to Krantz about 4:20 p.m. Monday. She was still trying to navigate her way back to the hotel room. “I’ve been making calls to friends and family letting them know that everything’s OK with her, anyway,” he said.

Bob Greenwood, a member of the Waterloo City Council, was in Boston for the marathon but did not compete. He told The Courier that participants Mary Goerdt, 50, of Waterloo, and Jacque Bakker, 49, and Sue Sonnenberg, 46, both of Dike, were not injured in the blasts.

Runner Tammy Greiner, 46, of Reinbeck, was also unhurt, according to Waterloo TV station KWWL.

It was the first Boston Marathon for Torey Stallsmith, 22, of Charles City. His father, Steve, said Torey had completed the race by the time the explosions occurred.

“We were already back at our motel” near the airport, he said.

The father and son had no idea anything had happened until friends started calling them to see how they were.

“It’s such a sad thing to have this ruin the great experience that is the Boston Marathon,” Steve Stallsmith said. “The people of Boston treat the people in the marathon so well. They’re great hosts of a very great event.”

The Stallsmiths had planned to return to the downtown Monday evening for a post-marathon event that Torey wanted to attend. But that event and many others were canceled.

Paula Molstead of Charles City was planning to run in her second Boston Marathon but decided to pull out a few weeks ago.

She ran in the marathon five years ago.

“I just wasn’t getting the miles in that I needed to be in shape,” she said. “I wouldn’t be as fast as I would like.”

She and her daughter, Julia, were planning to go together and making it a mother-daughter experience. They had reservations to stay in the Copley Square Hotel, in the area where the bombs were detonated.

Monday morning Molstead said she was checking the weather in Boston and saw that it was going to be nice.

“I was feeling kind of sad.”

But when she later heard about the explosions and the injuries to runners and bystanders, she felt nothing but gratitude.

“You sometimes question why things don’t happen the way you want them to. There’s a reason.”

She added, “I feel so bad for all the people that were there. I just cannot imagine.”

Staff writers Tina Hinz, Emily Christensen, Chris Essig and Meta Hemenway-Forbes and the Mason City Globe-Gazette contributed to this story.

EARLIER NOTES

Local: Waterloo runners not injured in blasts at Boston Marathon


6:15 p.m. - WATERLOO, Iowa --- Waterloo runners Brooke Krantz and Mary Goerdt were not injured by the blasts that rocked the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.

Cedar Falls police officer Krantz finished the marathon 20 to 30 minutes before the explosions and was not injured, according to her father.

“We did hear from Brooke and she is OK, but I was able to talk to her only briefly because of cell phone connections,” said her father Rich Carlson, of Waterloo.

The 34-year-old Waterloo woman was close enough to the blasts to hear the commotion but she didn’t initially know what had happened, he said.

Carlson talked to Krantz about 4:20 p.m. Monday. She was still trying to navigate her way back to the hotel room.

“I’ve been making calls to friends and family letting them know that everything’s OK with her, anyway,” he said.

Goerdt, 50, was also not injured, according to Waterloo council member Bob Greenwood. Greenwood was in Boston for the marathon but did not compete.

 

Local: Three Cedar Falls runners OK


5 p.m. - CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- A Cedar Falls mother said her three sons were safe in their hotel room when two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Lisa Sevcik said she was unaware that anything had happened when her son, Joseph Sevcik, called to say they were safe. Joseph and his brothers Daniel and David, were running with members of an Iowa State University running club. The men are all Cedar Falls High School graduates.

News reports indicate the first explosion went off at about 4 hours and 9 minutes. The brothers’ finish times included David, 2 hours 39 minutes; Daniel, 3:03; and Joey, 3:36.

“We were coming home from somewhere when he called and said he just wanted us to know they were OK,” Lisa said. “We ran into the house and turned on the TV.”

Lisa said the boys’ hotel room was at about the 25-mile mark.

“One just called and they were looking out the window and watching all this and they said people were still running in, but people were out there trying to stop the people from going,” she said.

The finishing straightaway of the Boston Marathon is a very dense area of people, according to Joey Sevcik, an Iowa State University junior from Cedar Falls.

“Thousands upon thousands of people were around,” he said. “Police every 4 or 5 feet away from each other.”

Sevcik learned about the explosives as he was walking into his hotel located less than a mile from the finish line.

“People’s phones started going off,” he said by phone shortly after 3 p.m. from a room at Boston Hotel Buckminster, 645 Beacon St.

He and his brothers, Iowa State seniors Daniel and David, were among 11 participants from the Iowa State Runners Club. This was the third Boston Marathon for Daniel and David, and the first for Joey.

“We had just finished up the race and we were all heading back as a team,” Sevcik said. “We might have been on the subway” when the devices went off.

“We don’t know exactly,” he added. “I thought I heard a little boom, but I didn’t think anything of it. But I could be remembering that wrongly now.”

The marathon route passes outside their hotel window, just beyond the 25-mile marker. Runners have since been stopped from continuing.

“We’ve seen a lot of police cars go by, and we’ve been hearing sirens constantly, fire engines,” Sevcik said. “We’re not going anywhere else. We’re just staying in our hotel watching CNN right now and looking at Twitter updates.”

Sevcik had received safe reports from everyone he knew participating.

He said they arrived Thursday morning and plan to fly out Tuesday afternoon.

Local: Runners from Hudson, Reinbeck, Dike also reportedly OK


6:15 p.m. - HUDSON, Iowa --- A Hudson resident, a Reinbeck resident and two residents from Dike who raced in the Boston Marathon also escaped without injury.

Katie Hansen, 22, Hudson, was part of the Iowa State University running club that finished the Boston Marathon before the explosion and made it back to their hotel rooms.

“I guess I’m in shock and am glad that our group is all together and OK,” she said, noting it’s “craziness that this could happen anywhere.”

She received a lot of voice and text messages after the explosion, but her phone wouldn’t work for the first hour. Eventually, Hansen was able to post on Facebook that she was uninjured.

“It was really cool, all the support and everyone who was worried about it,” she said.

Dike residents Jacque Bakker, 49, and Sue Sonnenberg, 46, according to Greenwood.

Tammy Greiner, 46, Reinbeck was also unhurt, according to KWWL.

Local: Waverly runner couldn't go to marathon because of injury


4 p.m. - WAVERLY, Iowa --- A 47-year-old Waverly woman who has run the Boston Marathon five times couldn't go to this year's marathon despite qualifying because of an injury.

“I’m so saddened by the events today,” said Jamie Stensland, a marathon runner for the past 15 years, who qualified to participate in the race with her finish in the Quad Cities Marathon in September.

“I did not go because I had a back injury,” she said, which occurred 1-1/2 years ago. “I had decided probably six weeks ago for sure that I could not run it because of my back.”

Nonetheless, friends have been concerned since they heard about the explosions, getting in touch with text messages and phone calls. “I’ve been receiving phone call after phone call saying, ‘Please tell me you didn’t run,’” she said.

Stensland, who was still thinking Sunday about whether she could catch a flight and run the marathon despite her back injury, had “very mixed emotions” about missing the race as she heard the news.

“I probably would have been near or close to the finish line,” she said, when the explosions happened. Family or friends might have been nearby, as well, putting them in danger.

Stensland expressed some surprise that the explosions occurred within the final mile of the marathon because “that’s where they have the most security and the most police

It just goes to show that if someone wants something to happen bad enough they’ll find a way, and so it’s very sad,” she said.

From Boston: 2 killed as 2 bombs explode


5:25 p.m. -  BOSTON (AP) --- Two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring more than 70 others in a terrifying scene of shattered glass, billowing smoke, bloodstained pavement and severed limbs, authorities said.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said two other explosive devices were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course.

"They just started bringing people in with no limbs," said runner Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children's eyes shielded from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but "they saw a lot."

"They just kept filling up with more and more casualties," Lisa Davey said. "Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed."

There was no word on the motive or who may have launched the attack, and police said no suspect was in custody. Authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The twin blasts at the race took place almost simultaneously and about 100 yards apart, tearing limbs off numerous people, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending smoke rising over the street.

Some 23,000 runners took part in the race, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious marathons. One of Boston's biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads methodically checked parcels and bags left along the race route. He said investigators didn't know whether the bombs were planted in mailboxes or trash cans.

He said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race.

The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft from within 3.5 miles of the site.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the explosions by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco. Obama also told Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick that his administration would provide whatever support was needed, the White House said.

A fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library a few miles away. The police commissioner said it may have been caused by an incendiary device but it didn't appear to be related to the bombings.

"There are people who are really, really bloody," said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto, who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims.

About four hours into the race and two hours after the men's winner crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

By that point, more than 17,000 of the runners had finished the race, but thousands of others were farther back along the course.

The Boston Police Department said two people were killed. Hospitals reported at least 73 injured, at least eight of them critically.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said the two other explosive devices found nearby were being dismantled. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the findings publicly.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows off the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood coming down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

"My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging. It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground."

Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured while race stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site.

Roupen Bastajian, a 35-year-old state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when they put the heat blanket wrap on him and he heard the blasts.

"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."

Smoke rose from the blasts, fluttering through the national flags lining the route. Blood stained the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.

Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.

"I was expecting my husband any minute," she said. "I don't know what this building is ... it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don't know what it was. I just ducked."

Runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.

The Boston Marathon honored the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting with a special mile marker in Monday's race.

Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio previously said there was "special significance" to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. reojoe
    Report Abuse
    reojoe - April 15, 2013 3:10 pm
    There are other CF residents running it too.
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