Her 17th Boston Marathon is one she will never forget, but Dr. Janet Green is already looking forward to her 18th.
Green was the only Comox Valley runner in Monday’s epic 26.2-mile race, which was cancelled when two explosions went off near the finish line. She had finished the race just 10 minutes prior to the explosions.
“I was having a slow day, but I’m glad I wasn’t having a slower day,” said Green, who was four blocks away from the explosions.
“I was in the baggage pickup area when I saw and heard the explosions. We didn’t really know what was going on. I didn’t have a cellphone with me. When I exited the baggage area I talked to a fellow who told me what happened. We just got out of there.”
Green said it was not possible for her to return to the finish line to lend her medical expertise, but she heard a Surrey, B.C. doctor say in an interview that the rehydration tent had been turned into a triage area.
After the race, Green joined some friends she had pre-arranged to meet at a pub and they watched coverage of the events on the big screen TV. “We didn’t really know … there was just the same coverage over and over again.
“We knew they’d stopped the race. We knew there were people hurt. That was about it. There was some rumours about traumatic amputations and that sort of thing, and there were.
“A lot of people had their legs blown off. We learned about that later. TV didn’t really show the carnage, they showed the smoke.”
After spending some subdued time in the pub with her friends, Green left to find another friend. “The whole downtown area was closed. I had to walk about an extra mile.
“Some people were either locked in or locked out of their hotel. The restaurants were mostly closed. Nobody went out.” It took her awhile, but Green eventually reached her hotel.
While Logan airport and the subway was closed down for about an hour following the explosions, Green said she felt authorities handled things as well as they could.
After arriving at the airport early Tuesday, Green said border patrol authorities asked “some minimal questions” but “it wasn’t a big hassle.”
Green arrived back in the Comox Valley on Tuesday morning as planned, and was appreciative of the hugs she received from people at the airport who knew her. She said she was also grateful for all the concern she received from the running community and other friends here at home.
And she said she will be on the starting line for the 2014 Boston.
“I have no problem going back. Most of us who are dedicated runners will be back to show support.”