‘It was chaos’ Shawn Brandt describes scene in Boston following marathon bombing

Shawn Brandt competed in his first-ever Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, finishing in 3 hours, 27 minutes.

Brandt, technology integration specialist for the New Prague Area Schools, said he was a little disappointed in his time, but he got over it very quickly.

About 90 minutes after finishing, he and his wife Kara, along with his sister and her husband and other friends were at a food court about a block away when two bombs went off near the finish line.

“We were inside, we didn’t feel anything or hear anything, he said. “It took awhile before we really found out what was happening,” he said.

“People were saying they heard there was a gun, or there was a bomb in the subway. “It was chaos, Everyone was tyring to get outside,” he said.

Once they were outside and they had an idea of what had happened, but no details. The subways were closed, so they had to walk four miles back to their hotel.

“That’s not an easy thing to do when you've just run a marathon,” Brandt joked. “We got back to the hotel and watched everything on TV. It was very surreal, we had just been there, and to see all the images on the news…”

They said they were never really scared for their safety in the aftermath of the bombing. “We were more scared because we didn't know what was going on. We didn’t know if we should be scared,” he said.

The Brandts flew back to Minnesota the next day.

“Everything seemed to move along just fine, but you could sense there was a little more caution on the subway and at the airport. It all seemed normal, but maybe a little slower.”

This was Brandt’s fifth marathon. He qualified for the event by placing well at last year’s Grandma’ s Marathon in Duluth.

“I will be up at Grandma’s again this year, hoping to qualify,” he said. “Going into this, I hadn’t planned on trying for Boston again, but this has given me a little bit of resolve. I want to do it again.”