Most of the Mankato group had been in their hotel, located about two blocks from the finish line, when the blasts went off.
“I just walked into my hotel room and was taking off my shoes when I heard two great big booms,” Henning said. “I didn’t realize what happened until I turned on the TV. It’s chaos.”
Cellular phone service was overloaded in the hours after the incident as people tried to find out the status of the nearly 25,000 runners as well as of spectators who, Henning said, were “12- to 15-people deep on each side of the sidewalk” along the marathon’s final stretch.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” he said.
Kamphoff said there were 15 ambulances parked outside of their hotel, and people were nervous about what might happen next as they waited in their rooms. Over that time, they heard a third explosion and learned of the discovery of more explosives.
“It’s such an incredible event; it’s one of the best marathons in the world,” said Kamphoff, who finished the race a little more than a minute after Cox. “It’s an amazing experience to run and finish it. But it changes it a lot when something like this happens.”
— Staff Writer Dan Linehan contributed to this story