Tammy Hartje of St. Charles was just getting ready to cross the finish line in her first Boston Marathon when she felt an explosion. Then people started screaming at her: "Go back! Go back! Go back! It's really bad, it's really bad!"
Disoriented from her long run, Hartje, 48, did not know what was happening. She saw blood, and a man who had lost his leg.
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"It was awful," Hartje said.
She and other runners were directed away from the finish line, which she never crossed. And without a telephone or money, she had no way of contacting her friends and family, who were following her progress online via the computer chip runners wear to record their times. They later told her they were worried, because they figured her time put her right at the scene of explosion.
"It was very traumatizing," Hartje said.
Hartje's last time was clocked at 3:59 at the 40-kilometer mark, a little more than 2 kilometers from the finish line, she said.