Two locals finish Boston Marathon before explosions
by Bob Brownne
Apr 15, 2013 | 5157 views | 5 5 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nancy Morehead crossed the finish line at the 117th Boston Marathon about six minutes faster than she expected on Monday, April 15.

It was a twist of fate that put the former Tracy High swim coach and experienced long-distance runner just ahead of two large explosions that killed at least three people and injured more than 130 near the finish line of the marathon around 2:50 p.m. EST.

“I felt it and heard it and turned around and saw the smoke cloud,” said Morehead, during in a phone interview on Monday. “I expected to see worse when I turned around.”

Morehead didn’t wait around to see the aftermath. She said that emergency officials began getting athletes and spectators out of the way so first responders could help.

“The crowd was very cooperative,” she said. “Everybody kept moving away from the finish line. When emergency vehicles came through, it was hard to hear them coming, but everybody cleared the street pretty quickly.”

The blasts happened about 10 seconds apart, four hours and nine minutes after the start of the race, according to news reports.

Morehead, 51, finished the race in 4:03:37. Right away she tried to find her cousin and running partner, Lynn Olavarri, who finished the race just ahead of her in 3:51:25. The search became more urgent after the blasts.

“I thought about 4:10, was what I’d be able to do, so she was pretty worried,” Morehead said.

It’s the fourth Boston Marathon for Morehead, who now lives in Pleasanton. She also ran the race in 2004, 2005 and 2006 when she was the swim coach at Tracy High.

Also running their individual races on Monday, were two Tracy men, Noel Colina, 53, and Leonel Monascal, 49.

Colina said that his exhilaration for completing his second Boston Marathon turned to fear less than a half-hour later. He finished the race in 3:45:04, about 24 minutes before the blasts, and said that his wife, Fate, and daughter, Alex, waited for him near the finish line.

They were leaving the area, and were about a block away from the finish line when the explosions happened.

“I didn’t see anything, but I heard the explosions,” said Colina, during in a phone interview from Boston on Monday. “ It was frightening when my wife told me she was in the area. I’m glad I finished the race earlier. I was really thankful to God.”

Monascal finished the race in 2:59:03, more than an hour before the blasts, according to the marathon website. He was unable to be reached for comment Monday.

Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or
Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 18, 2013
Disclaimer: I do not own a gun.

Where are all the ignorati who believe we need more gun laws? It's now pretty clear pressure cookers were used for the terrorist attack in Boston so please tell me how additional gun regulations will bring back the 3 people killed and put limbs back on those you lost them?

Should we now ban pressure cookers? Apparently they are used quite frequently in these kinds of attacks so using the logic for more gun control we should ban them, right?

Time for people in this country to wake up, it's not the weapons, it's people, period. It's time the blind take their sites off inanimate objects and focus on the criminals whose hands push the button and pull the trigger.
April 18, 2013
Bib, I couldn't agree more. We already have laws on the books that can result in a severe sentence(s). It's common practice for DA's offices to use these charges as barganing chips in plea bargan. How bout prosicuting these crimes, and holding the PERSON responsible for his/her actions? Make these crimes stand on their own without being able to bargan, and if a PERSON chooses to use a gun anywhere near a school or public gathering enhance it to a mandatiory life sentence. The new gun bill that failed to pass-didn't pass because it's pritty obvious the only folks that would suffer are Law abiding Americans. Criminals will always be able to get a gun, and always have.
April 16, 2013
Doors, agreed but someone should have given Chris Matthews that memo.
April 16, 2013
Gee, what a surprise.

I can hardly wait for the local ignorati to blame it on Bush.

April 16, 2013
Left or right, it doesn’t matter. Right now all sides need to be patient, wait for the facts and disregard rumors that fit their political beliefs. After the reports after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 four Arab looking men were seen driving away at a high rate of speed should be a lesson remembered to the media and public.

I’m fully confident law enforcement will find who is responsible for this cowardly act, and justice will be served.

I hope I don’t sound cornball here, but events of yesterday should be a reminder to all of us that we’re not Democrats, Republicans, or whatever your voting record is, but Americans. We need to stand together as one and not divided or blinded by our beliefs.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at