Explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday left three bystanders dead and scores injured, shocking a nation and motivating organizers to bolster security at future high-profile public events.
Dr. Shelly Frazier, profiled in the April 11 issue of Mizzou Weekly for her weightlifting prowess, crossed the finish line five minutes before the pair of explosions.
“I turned to grab a banana from one of the volunteers and heard a sound like a cannon and then a ball of smoke going up into the air near the finish line,” said Frazier, director of surgical pathology for MU Health Care.
“It was so surreal,” Frazier said. “At first I thought — hoped, perhaps — it might be a celebratory cannon. But then the second exploded, and everyone knew there was something bad going on.
“Everyone was terrified that there might be more coming.”
Frazier, a world-record holding powerlifter, suffers from cartilage loss in her right knee. Problems with the knee and her left Achilles hampered her during the race.
She was barely able to walk when chaos erupted and people around her ran in panic and to aid the injured.
“There were emergency response vehicles of all flavors up and down the streets,” Frazier said. “I cannot speak highly enough about the first responders and race volunteers.
“They were immediately on the scene and saving lives,” she said.
Frazier limped to her hotel where she turned on the television and learned what had happened.
“What should be one of the biggest days in many runners’ lives turned into one of the worst,” she said.
Frazier said in March that, due to her arthritis, this year’s Boston Marathon would be her last. She reiterated that Tuesday.
“I can safely say that I am glad to be done,” Frazier said. “No doubt the events that unfolded before my eyes after the race contribute to that some, but mostly I am just not physically capable of doing it again.”
— Kelsey Allen