Southeast Missouri State University provost Dr. Ron Rosati was one of at least five Cape Girardeau-area runners who raced in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Tragedy struck the race when two explosive devices killed three people and injured more than 170.
Dr. Rosati just crossed the finished line and was getting a bottle of water when the first bomb went off about 50 yards away. He initially thought the explosion was from a celebratory cannon.
“We looked over to it and you could see the ball of smoke, black smoke, coming out of the bleachers next to the finish line,” Rosati said. “It sure didn’t look like a cannon at that point.”
Rosati said some nearby people began crying, and a few hundred people starting running away from the finish line out of fear of another bomb. He said it was panic. People jumped over street barricades while others took cover underneath trailers and tables.
“Shortly after that, the police came in and quickly took control of the situation and asked everybody to move out of that area,” Rosati said.
After the blasts, Rosati went to a nearby park as emergency personnel rushed by and sirens blared in the background. He later stopped at a Starbucks that was closing down due to security concerns.
Rosati said it was the first time he ran in the Boston Marathon. He hopes to run in the marathon again to both improve on his time and because he does not want Monday’s tragedy to mar his memories of the event.
“Our prayers and thoughts go out to the people who were injured and to their families,” Rosati said. “It’s a terribly unfortunate thing.”