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posted: 4/15/2013 7:30 PM

"We were so caught off guard," Geneva marathoner says

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  • Video: Boston Marathon Explosions

  • Video: Tears, Anger in Boston


Monday should have been a great day for Jeanine McMillen of Geneva after she ran a personal best marathon time in her first Boston Marathon.

But while she and a friend were sitting on a curb two blocks from the finish line, talking to her husband on the telephone, she heard explosions. Because Monday was Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, she first thought maybe the city was lighting ceremonial cannon blasts.

Then a huge throng of people, some bleeding, began running her way.

"We were so caught off guard," McMillen said.

Eventually, McMillen and her friend found another member of their informal running group and left the area, walking several miles to their hotel because the subway system had been shut down. She heard from other friends that later finishers were detained at the race site, and that their gear bags were being searched.

Seven other people from Geneva ran the race Monday. One of them, Elena Shemyakina, won her age group (50-54). She had finished and was well away from the area where the explosions happened, according to her husband, Alexander Shemyakin.

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