Update: All seven runners, including Dr.Edward Sauter, were not injured in the explosions.
(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - At least seven runners from the Tyler area took part today in the Boston Marathon, with six of those reportedly unharmed in the explosion that rocked the finish line.
Tyler runner Christy Richbourg, who had already finished her run when the explosions occurred, said she and her family, along with three other Tyler runners, were safe.
She said Tylerites Frank Webb, Dr. John Camp and Harold Wilson all uninjured. Wes Volberding, who ran the race, said in a text exchange that he was unharmed.
The East Texas Striders running club said Dr. Cathy Fieseler had reported that she was OK.
Edward Sauter of Tyler was listed as a participant in the Boston Athletic Association website, but the Morning Telegraph has not been able to determine his status. The site reported that he finished the race in 3:45:52. Video from the scene showed that the explosion occurred at 4:09:44.
"I was picking up my bag after the finish when I heard it," Ms. Richbourg said of the explosion. "I thought they were shooting off fireworks. I didn't witness it, but it's pretty bad."
When reached by phone an hour after the blasts, Ms Richbourg said her husband and sister were attending to a woman who appeared to be shock, worried that her husband was still on the race course and had not returned following the explosions.
Mike Veneable, an East Texas Strider member, said his group has been in communication with Dr. Fieseler, who said she was at Mile 25 when the explosion occurred.
Dr. Fieseler, a medical doctor, said she was OK, he said.
Meredith Webb, a member of the East Texas Striders, is there with her husband, Frank, who finished the race and was unharmed.
"There are no words to describe what we're seeing and feeling," Ms. Webb said by telephone from Boston. "Too much sadness. I'm hoping everyone is OK. To all of our family and friends, we cannot make calls out, but we are OK."
Frank Webb, district manager for Home Depot in Tyler, said via telephone that he and his wife were sitting in the Marriott Copely just a block from the finish line.
They were watching men armed with machine guns walking up and down the street, he said.
"At the time of the explosion, it was very chaotic, with people screaming, crying and running everywhere," Webb said.
The couple quickly left the area and returned to their hotel, where they were confined.
"It a beautiful day, a beautiful race. And then chaos," he said, adding that scores of police, FBI agents and other law enforcement officials were swarming the area.
Wes Volberding, in text exchanges, said he and Harold Wilson were standing in the finishers' chute when the explosion went off, followed by another explosion 15 seconds later, sending smoke 600 meters from the finish line.
"Everyone quickly left the area," Volberding said.
Dr. Scott Lieberman of Cardiovascular Associates of Tyler, said his son Mason, who is a student at Berklee College of Music, lives around 100 yards from the Boston Marathon finish line and felt the explosions.
Lieberman said his son called a few seconds after reports of the explosions were reported by the media.
"The good thing is that I can see his dorm room from the helicopters filming and I know he is ok," he said. "He told me that it is mayhem out there."
Staffers Kenneth Dean, Dave Berry, Brian Pearson and Adam Russell contributed to this report.
Updated Monday, April 15, 2013 at 3:40 p.m. CDT
The University of Texas at Tyler Patriot Talon reports that Former UT Tyler runner Warren Brown contacted sports editor Jake Waddingham to confirm he was unharmed and safe after participating in the Boston Marathon today.