It was a perfect day for a marathon Monday morning in Massachusetts.
Watching along the historic streets of Boston, were Sacramentan Brian Brokaw and his two kids, waiting for wife and mom Paige to finish the historic Boston Marathon.
“I had gone out to see her at the 25 mile marker, I had a friend and our two kids with me and we walked from the 25 mile marker toward the finish line,” Brian Brokaw told FOX40 in a phone interview from Logan International Airport.
Waiting for the starters gun, Paige Brokaw noticed something odd at the start.
“At the runners village, the area where they stage everybody just before the startline, we saw a sniper on the roof, and we thought, ‘Wow, that’s interesting, but I guess this is a pretty big crowd,’” she said.
Just seven weeks after giving birth, Paige ran America’s most prestigious marathon in stellar time – 3 hours, 39 minutes.
As Brian and the kids approached Boylston Street, the crowd of people near the race finish was large and impassable, so Brokaw went around and headed to the family reunion area.
“If we had kept on walking straight ahead, we would’ve been right there where the blast happened, but fortunately, we made a roundabout loop to get to the family finish area. A very fortunate, lucky thing,” Brian said.
After the hugs, the Brokaw’s got on the subway and headed for their rented apartment. The explosions happened while they were on the subway. Brian figured out what happened from Twitter and began contacting family.
“The first thing I did was send a text to our family saying, ‘I don’t know what happened, there’s an explosion, but we’re O.K.’ and I’m glad we did,” he told FOX40.
The family stayed close to their apartment and headed to Logan International Airport early on Tuesday to deal with ramped up security and get back to California.
Both Paige and Brian say they’re stunned at how close they came to tragedy.
“It’s also fairly scary looking back and thinking I was just there with my two kids and I would have never, ever thought that we were in harm’s way. It was very disconcerting after the fact,” Brian said.
“But when I learned about the explosion, the first thing that went through my mind was “Oh my god, my spouse and my two young children were there and they were in harm’s way because I wanted to run a race,” In that moment in time, it seemed so trivial,” Paige said.