Charles Krupa / AP
The 26th mile marker of the Boston Marathon was dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Shock waves from the Boston Marathon bombing were felt acutely in Newtown, Conn., which sent a contingent of runners to the iconic race to honor the memories of the 26 students and staff killed in December’s school massacre.
There is no indication that any of the eight runners on the team or others on the sidelines or in the grandstand were injured in the double blast near the finish line, but relatives at home sweated through tense moments until they heard from them.
“It’s terrible to say, but I am just thankful nobody from Newtown was hurt,” said Lisa Abrams, whose husband Tom and nephew Jason Bloom were running.
“Newtown can’t go through another event like this.”
Abrams said she was home when her sister texted that there had been a bombing at the race.
“I was in shock. I didn’t process it and then I started to panic,” she said.
Abrams, a teacher, tried to track her husband and nephew’s whereabouts by their race numbers, but while she was doing it, someone texted to say that her husband was fine. Then Tom called and said Jason and his girlfriend were also unhurt.
She said she has never been so grateful that her husband was having a bad day pounding the asphalt.
“Thank god he was slow. Otherwise he would have been right there,” she said.
There were strong Newtown ties to the marathon.
Not only was a team from the town running to raise money for a scholarship fund, the 26th mile was dedicated to the first-graders and school workers gunned down by Adam Lanza on Dec. 14.
Marathon organizers created a custom marker for the 26th mile with the Sandy Hook Elementary school colors and 26 stars circling the town emblem. A 26-second moment of silence was held at the start of the race.
Abrams said the race was supposed to be a healing event.
“But now it has just opened old wounds,” she said.
“I’m very sad about the world. You can’t go to a movie, you can’t go to school, you can’t go anywhere.”
Jeff Clachko of Universal Sports, who crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon, moments before the explosions recounts the "chaos" that followed.
This story was originally published on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:03 PM EDT