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Grand Forks Woman Finishes Boston Marathon - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Area Woman Finishes Boston Marathon Minutes Before Explosions

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Dozens of local runners and their families were in Boston for the marathon Monday, including a woman from Grand Forks. Rachel Hellyer had finished just minutes before the explosions and was just a couple of blocks away.

"It's very scary and very frustrating," says Hellyer.

It's a day that she'd been training for.

"Weren't quite sure what it was and then right after that, there was a second one," says Hellyer.

A day that Rachel Hellyer of Grand Forks had been looking forward to, until disaster changed everything.

Hellyer says, "It sounded like two train cars had crashed together."

Hellyer is one of the dozens of locals from the Red River Valley who was at the Boston Marathon. She crossed the finish line just 20 minutes before the first explosions, and she and her mom were just a few blocks away.

Hellyer says, "Quite a few ambulances and everything and sirens."

Fargo Marathon Director, Mark Knutson, says, "It will be the saddest day in running history."

Knutson works with people who make the Boston Marathon possible.

"They did have a couple down towards the finish line who were out of harm's way," says Knutson.

And a question on many marathoners minds is "will the Fargo Marathon be safe?"

Knutson says, "We go through some situational training where we try to anticipate what we would do in a situation similar to this."

They're looking into extra precautions, including bomb sniffing dogs.
 
Knutson says, "In terms of security, we do the beset that we can."

And amid the pain, suffering and death, Rachel Hellyer says she's still in disbelief.

Hellyer says, "To take something that's such a celebrate of health and wellness and life and turn it into something that's just a tragedy."

Hellyer says her hotel is just a few blocks away from the finish line for the marathon and she was able to see the chaos unfold out her window. She says she'll say a prayer and get home as soon as she can to her loved ones.

Out of the dozens of locals at the Boston marathon, there have been no reports of injuries.

 

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