"It turned into what looked like a refugee camp,” said runner Peregrine Hood. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
At the Hotel Commonwealth on Commonwealth Avenue, the lobby was teeming with runners, most on mobile devices, eager to assure their loved ones they were OK after a series of blasts had been reported at the Boston Marathon. [videoembed id=134930]
Peregrine Hood, a runner from London, said he was just coming up to Boylston for the final stretch.
“I was getting ready to finish when I heard a bang,” he said. “The headphones were on, the euphoria was setting in and then I just got a ghastly feeling that something was wrong. Then there was massive confusion, people running, so I just stopped and started moving away.”
Hood said his first reaction was, “Oh my God. My girlfriend is in the finisher’s box.”
After much trying through various modes of communication, he got an e-mail through to his girlfriend. He heard back from her a half an hour later, hysterical.
“She said she literally ran for her life,” reported Hood. “There was a terrible uncertainty for about 30 minutes.”
Hood said the scene quickly became grim.
“This is a great day in Boston and everyone’s merry, but then there was just a certain panic and it turned into what looked like a refugee camp,” he said.