The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 19, 2013

Local Boston Marathon runners reflect on enormity of bombings, results of manhunt for suspects

JOPLIN, Mo. — After the events in Boston over the past 48 hours, marathon runners Marisa Forth, Kenneth Schramm and Karen Plucinski are glad to be home.

Forth and Plucinski returned from the Boston Marathon on Wednesday. Schramm returned immediately after Monday’s marathon.

“I am really glad we got home when we did,’’ said Forth, of Webb City. “Especially after what happened last night (Thursday). I am certain everything there is completely on lockdown.’’ She spoke before disclosures that the second suspect was in custody.

“This is a lot for me to process,’’ said Forth, whose first big race outside of the Joplin area was Monday’s Boston Marathon. “I have been glued to the news since I got home. I think I knew deep down they were going to find them because of the clues they had gotten.’’

Schramm said he could only imagine what it must have been like to be in Boston on Friday as the manhunt unfolded. He, too, spoke to the Globe ahead of the second suspect being taken into custody.

“My heart goes out to all of the people in Boston where this has been ongoing since the bombing first happened,’’ he said.

Plucinski said it has taken a while to process everything that has happened.

“It was one of the most bizarre days in my life,” the 50-year-old Carl Junction resident said. “After we survived the tornado, I told Mark (her husband) that we’ll never have to go through anything like that again. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s similar. You feel like you’re in a movie scene.”

Neither Schramm nor Forth said they would have ever thought the marathon bombing would evolve as it has and that they would be connected to such a huge event.

“I did not think it would turn into something like this,” Schramm said. “It’s a whole lot worse than I thought it would be. I don’t think this has anything to do with the marathon itself — except that there was a huge accessible crowd where they could do some damage.’’

Forth said she would not be surprised if bigger connections were uncovered. In the meantime, she thinks about how she almost got caught up in something that no one would have dreamed possible when she left for Boston.

“My mom and I talked quite a long time when I got home,’’ she said. “She told me she worries every time I go run. She was afraid that I might get hit by a car.

“All I know is I’m glad we got home when we did.’’

Plucinski said she plans to return to the Boston Marathon.

“A lot of people are saying they’re never going back,” she said. “It just makes me more resolved to go back next year. Really, I think we will have a lot of people feel that way. I think they’re going to want to show that it’s not going to affect our approach to the freedom we have.”

Globe staff writers Wally Kennedy and Mark Schremmer contributed to this report.


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