Erica Alansari, of Hoffman Estates, finished the Boston Marathon about 25 minutes before the first explosion. She didn't stay downtown after crossing the finish line because her running group had plans for a team party that evening and she wanted to go back to her hotel to shower.
Alansari had just boarded the subway when her group heard the explosion. At first they thought it was just noise from the subway.
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Alansari, 34, was one of about two dozen runners from the Dick Pond Fast Track Team out of Dick Pond Athletics' Schaumburg store to run the Boston Marathon. It was her first time running the prestigious race but she has been running for three years.
The entire Dick Pond team was accounted for Monday, but it took almost two hours to confirm everyone was OK.
Runners from the Dick Pond team had finishing times of less than 3 hours to almost 4 hours so many crossed the finish line before the explosions and others were rerouted after them.
Cell service was shut down in Boston following the explosion so Alansari said people couldn't call each other to check in. Thankfully that happened about 15 minutes after Alansari called her parents to let them and her kids know she was safe.
"Most of the runners posted on our personal (Facebook) pages that our families could see," Alansari said, adding that later one of the runners on the team made a group page so everyone could confirm in one place they were OK.
"Right now we're just pretty much on lockdown in the hotel," Alansari said. "They closed down the T, which is their transportation system here. Some runners are freaking out and wanted to rent a car to get out of here but I don't think that's a possibility."
Alansari and her husband are scheduled to return to Chicago Tuesday afternoon.