Editor’s note: Newburyport resident Sharon Chase, a member of the Winner’s Circle Running Club, took a waiver at the 2012 Boston Marathon, postponing her entry one year after discovering she fractured her hip in the months leading up to the race. Anna Jaques Hospital doctor Bob Keller placed three pins in Chase’s hip in December of 2012, and she began training for this year’s marathon. She made it to the 21.5-mile mark Monday before the race was canceled due to the two explosions at the finish line. Below is an excerpt from her letter to the editor.
“It’s Tuesday at 4 a.m., and I’m having a real hard time sleeping. I’m hoping the women on the evacuation bus found their families. The runners who were nearly spent just after Heartbreak Hill at Mile 21.5 were stopped in their tracks. A line of white jackets ran out in front of us, and were followed by other people dragging metal fences to block our way.
“They told us there was an incident at the finish line, nothing more. That’s all they would tell. This was a medical stop until now. There were doctors prepared to take a few runners at a time for heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, wound bandaging, hydration. They had some foil blankets. They weren’t the finish line. They weren’t equipped to be the finish line.
“We were in the road with nowhere to go. We shared the three medic’s chairs, rocks, curbs, alternating with standing to prevent stiffening, hoping the race would somehow resume. As other runners caught up, our numbers grew. All of our phones were dead or dying. My phone had my running program on it, and was basically out of juice, but I got a message from my husband, Tom. It said, ‘Two bombs went off here.’