6:02 PM PDT, April 18, 2013
Parkland assistant track coach Steve Ott had the physical pain that traditionally follows running 26.2 miles — in 3 hours, 29 minutes — but it had company.
Emotional and psychological scarring rode alongside the 34-year-old Monday night for the 308-mile trip home from the 117th annual Boston Marathon.
First-hand images of the remnants of two bomb blasts that killed three people and injured 170 more battled for control of Ott's mind and body.
The Orefield Middle School teacher finished the race well before the blasts were detonated. He was a couple of blocks from the bomb sites when he communicated to friends and loved ones that he escaped without injury that would have required more than heat blankets and power bars.
Ott left Boston about 5 p.m., but those six hours before his black Nissan Frontier pulled into the garage of his Lower Macungie home were the longest of his wife Suzanne's life.
"It was hell," she said. "I was scared the entire time he was driving home, just knowing how he was doing physically after running a marathon."
Suzanne barely waited for the Frontier to come to rest in the garage before she pulled the door open, dove into the vehicle and hugged him.
Steve and other locals escaped the carnage of the terrorist attack.
Now, however, comes the emotional aftermath for the competitors and their families.
Do they run Boston again? What about New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, or even the local races where there are large crowds?
"Imagine if this happened at the start of the race where it's packed with people," Steve wondered. "I'm supposed to run [St. Luke's] half marathon in a couple of weeks.
"But this is in your head now."
Plenty of questions remain.
What if the Ott family — Suzanne, children Ellie and Jake, his parents, his father's wife, his sister, his best friend, his best friend's girlfriend and her daughter — made the trip to Boston like they did in 2011?
They surely would have been where they were two years ago — near the finish line. Near the blasts.
Their presence at the race certainly would have kept Steve from stopping on his way back to the finish line to take a picture of a reflective pool — something he forgot to do the day before.
"As soon as I got that picture, the first blast went off," he said. "It shook everything."
Steve called Suzanne shortly after the second blast to let her know he was OK.
The couple took a trip in February to Lake Tahoe. Suzanne used her last personal day to go. That, along with the prospect of having to navigate the course alone with two young children, were deciding factors for her not to trek to Boston.
Amby Burfoot, editor at large of Runner's World in Emmaus, has been running marathons all over the world for decades. In 1968 in Japan, he ran a 2:14.19, which was one second off the fastest marathon time by an American.
Earlier that year, Burfoot became the first college runner to win the Boston Marathon.
On Monday, the 66-year-old was glad his body — which he calculated has logged well more than 100,000 miles in competitive running — has slowed down significantly.
He was about a half mile from the finish line when the explosions went off. He was among the first group of runners who were turned away
"There was massive confusion," he said. "At first, I felt anger and unhappiness about not finishing. Then I found out what happened."
There were locals who never started the race.
Moravian Academy girls track coach Nicole Lisicky was supposed to run, but hamstring problems prevented her from making the trip.
Local marathon runners are thankful to be safe, but must wonder what the future holds for them and the races they cherish.
Burfoot said Monday's events have only heightened his resolve to continue competing in such celebratory events until his body, not faceless terrorists, tells him otherwise.
Suzanne Ott and other loved ones of those runners likely will challenge the runners' resolve.
She pointed to the growing concern that will stretch to any event where there is a large gathering of people: Amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, etc.
Steve stood near the finish line at 6 a.m. Monday, visualizing himself completing the race.
The next time he stands on Boylston Street, his thoughts of a joyous end almost certainly will be marred with visions of the unedited, graphic news footage he saw on his hotel room television Monday afternoon.
That is a shame, but it is the sad reality for all of those who competed — or were supposed to.
Red & Black Invite
Participating teams for today's 7th annual event at East Stroudsburg University's Eiler Martin Stadium: Abington Heights, Berwick, Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsburg South, Holy Cross, Jim Thorpe, Phillipsburg, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West, Stroudsburg, Tunkhannock, Western Wayne.
Running schedule: (TRACK) 3,200 relay, 100/110 hurdles, 100, 1,600, 400, 400 relay, 800, 300 hurdles, 200, 3,200, 1,600 relay. (FIELD) boys triple jump, girls long jump, boys javelin, girls high jump, boys pole vault, girls shot put, boys discus, 2:30 p.m.; girls triple jump, boys long jump, girls javelin, boys high jump, girls pole vault, boys shot put, girls discus, 4.
Bryan Pearson weekly update — His throw of 191 feet last Thursday extends his Bangor and Northampton County record in the javelin. …. Northampton senior Kory DeCesaris had a PR of 50 feet, 7 inches Tuesday in the shot put.
DeSales junior Bryan Megee, a Notre Dame-Green Pond grad, set a school record of 14 minutes, 36.28 seconds in the 5,000-meter run last Saturday at Bucknell's Bison Distance Classic. His time was good enough for fourth overall in a race of more than 120 runners, including those from Divisions I and II. It also is the seventh-fastest time in Division III this season. … Shippensburg junior Stephanie Pryor, a Northern Lehigh product, ran a PR of 16:51.18 in last Saturday's 5K at Bucknell's Bison Outdoor Classic. The time is third in Division II and 22 seconds better than her previous best.
Twitter: Follow @TomHousenick
Blog: For area track standings, go to http://www.themorningcall.com/varsity
School: Saucon Valley
Favorite event: 2-mile
Favorite school cafeteria food: Pizza
Favorite TV show: Gossip Girl
Pre-race ritual: Just stay calm and be excited
Music on iPod: Maroon 5
One class you would take out of curriculum: Ceramics
Favorite coffee flavor: Any kind
Favorite form of social media: Facebook
Most embarrassing high school moment: Taking wrong turns in cross country competition
Most sought after vacation destination: California
Most daunting aspect of going to college: Being away from home and my parents, Bryan and Ann Chikotas
Biggest influence/support on your track career: Coach Kalosky and my parents
Ideal running conditions: Snow, sun, rain. I don't care.
(through Wednesday's results)
100: Taylor Chapman, Pennridge, 12.12 (FAT)
200: Taylor Chapman, Pennridge, 24.85 (FAT)
400: Lindsay Sheehan, Pennridge, 59.3
800: Hanna Brosky, Emmaus, 2:20.3
1,600: Marissa Sheva, Pennridge, 5:02.85 (FAT)
3,200: Elizabeth Chikotas, Saucon Valley, 11:00.3
400 relay: Pennridge, 49.4
1,600 relay: Bethlehem Catholic, 4:14.0
3,200 relay: Parkland, 9:58.1
100 hurdles: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West, 14.9
300 hurdles: Emmy Geis, Central Catholic, 45.6
High jump: Jane Lukas, Nazareth, 5-5
Long jump: Ariana Przybylowski, Pennridge, 17-5
Triple jump: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West, 37-1
Shot put: Gwen Remaley, Lehighton, 40-9.5
Javelin: Christine Streisel, Tamaqua, 140-2
Discus: Gracie Hargrove, Liberty, 124-6
Pole vault: Alexa Rossi, Palisades, 10-7
100: Demetrius Lanie, East Stroudsburg South; Mike Class and Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 10.6
200: Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 21.9
400: Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 49.4
800: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 1:53.06 (FAT)
1,600: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 4:25.0
3,200: Colin Abert, Easton, 9:57.9
400 relay: East Stroudsburg South, Stroudsburg, 43.1
1,600 relay: Pennridge, 3:17.72 (FAT)
3,200 relay: Pennridge, 8:13.3
110 hurdles: Tyler Horton, Bethlehem Catholic, 14.2
300 hurdles: Colby Trauger, Pennridge, 38.7
High jump: Griffin Schwab, Nazareth; Anthony Cruz, ES North, 6-5
Long jump: Nicholas Lombardo, East Stroudsburg South, 22-3
Triple jump: David Clowney, Stroudsburg, 45-2.5
Shot put: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 53-7
Javelin: Tyler Hope, Tamaqua, 194-5
Discus: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 191-0
Pole vault: Joey Fogle, Pocono Mountain East; Ethan Flynn-Scarsella, Stroudsburg, 13-0
FAT: Fully Automatic Timing
Based on results reported to The Morning Call through Wednesday. Coaches can report updates, corrections by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 610-820-6651, or by sending a direct message on Twitter to @TomHousenick.
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