, Gloucester, MA

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April 16, 2013

Local witness tells of 'panic'

Marissa Curcuru of Gloucester had been in Fenway Park’s grandstand for Monday’s Patriots Day Red Sox game, and — after being unable to board jammed trains leaving Kenmore Square — decided to walk the route of the Boston Marathon instead.

She was at the corner of Boylston and Haverford streets, where the marathon runners take their final turn for home, when she heard and saw the immediate aftermath of both the first and then second that rocked the celebratory mood of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.

When the first blast sounded, said Curcuru – whose husband, Nick Curcuru, is the Times’ sports editor and was back at home — everyone wondered “What was that?” she said.

At the sound of the second blast, she said, “there was a lot of panic, and all of the runners started turning and running back the other way.”

While the twin blasts, which had left at least two people dead — including an 8-year-old boy — and more than 40 injured, wreaked chaos at and around the Marathon finish line, runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.

One of those runners was Gloucester’s Meghan Cole, who was running with Team Hoyt after raising money for the Hoyt Foundation. She was still running at around the 21-mile mark when the blasts occurred, both within less than a half mile of the finish line.

Among other Gloucester or Cape Ann runners, Tom Amend, Andrew Pacholec and Nick Taormina had all finished the race, while Deanna Perry was reportedly around the same pace as Cole at the last checkpoint at 2:35 p.m. That was at the 18-mile mark; the blasts were reported at 2:52 p.m., according to Davis.

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