BATON ROUGE, LA — Members of the Varsity Sports/Run Louisiana team who competed in Monday’s Boston Marathon returned home to Baton Rouge Tuesday. Many of them like Erin Oswalt finished the 26.2 mile race before the explosions went off. She and several members of the team were celebrating their finish at a nearby bar when the bombs blasted.
“You started to hear the sirens and you see the police officers on their phones. Then you saw people getting nervous and people on their phones,” Oswalt told NBC33 News.
She was able to avoid the tragic and gory scene for the most part. But as a mother of three, she couldn’t escape the overwhelming sadness that took over when she saw the human toll those explosions took. She was especially saddened to hear about eight-year old Martin Richard who died from the explosions.
“Every time I would look at his photo or read about him I would start to cry. It’s just awful. They are innocent people and it’s just so cowardly,” she said in her home Tuesday.
She returned home to signs that read “Congratulations” and “Welcome Back” made by her three kids who stayed home in Louisiana with grandparents while she ran her first ever Boston Marathon. She finished the race in just over three hours. Her team (Varsity Sports/Run Louisiana) finished in third place overall.
“Of course human life comes first and you want to pray for those people first and foremost. But, I think even for people that didn't finish it's still special because you worked so hard. It shouldn't detract from 177 years of a really great tradition. It's where the common man can compete in a special thing,” she added.