Professional long-distance runner Joseph Gray, 29, told friends at a local athletics store at The Landing in Renton that he's OK but looking forward to getting back home.
Gray spoke with Trey Bailey on Monday afternoon, a Balanced Athlete sales associate and running trainer, shortly after this afternoon's bomb blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Bailey had just finished recording an interview for UpHillRunning.com with Gray about an hour before the blasts went off.
"(Bailey) called me after he heard" about the blasts, Balanced Athlete store owner Eric Sach said. Gray, a close friend of Sach and regular customer, had already completed the race nearly two hours before the the tragedy occurred that has left at least left two dead and 125 injured, according to various media reports.
Gray, a member of the US Mountain Running Team, finished 17th in the Boston Marathon overall and posted the fastest time for any competitor from Washington state (there were 527 registered) at 2:18:45. This was his first marathon race after completing the 2013 USA 50K Road Championships in Lloyd's Harbor, NY in March with a time of 2:55:19. Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa finished first in the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:10:22.
"He ran his first race and did well," Sach said, adding that the event was not canceled as the most runners had finished by the time the blasts went off.
It was crazy. You know, you’re laying there stretching or warming-up and you just hear all these different languages. It kind of puts it into perspective how international this field is. A lot of energy a lot people at the start line. I mean at the start line just people everywhere. People getting your autograph. You know it was real cool. A lot of energy.
The world's oldest marathon, the Boston Marathon is a prestigious event that runners spend months or even years training for, just to meet the qualifying standards for the grueling 26.2-mile journey.
Monday was the 117th running of the race. Eight other Renton residents also ran.
Other Renton runners finishing the race were:
- Shelaine Dolce, 03:24:50
- Maryanne Bulman, 03:47:32
- Richard De Cample, 04:03:57
Five other runners in the Marathon did not finish after the race was cancelled by organizers at the 4:09:00 mark following the bomb blasts.
If you're looking for information about someone you know at the Boston Marathon, or have information about them, Google has also launched a "PeopleFinder" webpage to help connect friends and family in the aftermath of today's events.