The Norman Transcript

Government

April 16, 2013

Oklahoma runners finish race safely

NORMAN — Oklahoma runner Jason Butler finished the Boston marathon in 2 hours and 41 minutes. His family was waiting to cheer him on from the finish line. Butler returned to the hotel to clean up before heading out to dinner.

The family never made it to the restaurant.

At 4:11 on the clock time, Butler, of south Oklahoma City, said two bombs went off across the street from where his loved ones had cheered him across the finish line.

“It’s been chaotic,” Butler said. “We were going out to eat and people were coming back and we didn’t know what was going on. We overheard it.”

The family returned to the hotel. A woman at the hotel was very shaken up and emotional.

“She heard two explosions and she came around the corner and they wouldn’t let her down there,” Butler said. “She was obviously shaken up by it. I think they’ve pretty much shut down the city.”

“All the Oklahomans that I know of, that I’ve heard from, are OK,” Butler said. He said Adam Cohen, of Norman, finished shortly behind him.

“He was about a minute behind me,” Butler said. “Some friends I have from Edmond are OK and Ian Campbell and his wife are OK.”

“The footage I’ve seen and the accounts I’ve heard of the events are absolutely heartbreaking,” Cohen said. “It’s impossible to know the impact this bombing will have on marathons or mass-participation events in the future, but one thing is certain: Every race director will try to learn from this tragedy and ensure it is not repeated.”

Norman North High School girls’ cross country coach Jonathan Koscinski crossed the finish line an hour and a half before the explosion and only learned of the blast upon returning to his hotel room.

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