Hollywood runner crosses finish line of Boston Marathon just before blasts

 
 
In this 2005 file photo, Patricia Soden, right, trains with her husband, Bert, and son, Justin, for a triathlon. Soden, from Hollywood, crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013, moments before a bomb explosion.
In this 2005 file photo, Patricia Soden, right, trains with her husband, Bert, and son, Justin, for a triathlon. Soden, from Hollywood, crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013, moments before a bomb explosion.
RON B. WILSON/FOR THE HERALD

Miami Herald Staff Report

Patricia Soden, wobbly from fatigue after running 26 miles, had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Then came the boom.

The Hollywood runner panicked, frantically searching for her husband who was to meet her nearby.

“Terrifying,” she said.

Soden, 51, is a veteran of dozens of marathons and triathlons. But nothing had prepared her for this.

"I was walking away, walking slow," she said, "when all of the sudden there was this horrendous explosion. My heart stopped. I got very scared. Within a few seconds a second explosion went off. They told us to keep walking away, walking away."

Soden got caught up in the crowd.

"Hundreds of people were running out of control saying, ’Go away, move, move!’ "

A few seconds later, another boom.

Soden eventually found her husband, Bert, a lifeguard. They’re both OK.

Bert and Patricia met in 1981. She had recently moved to South Florida from Buenos Aires. Up to that point, her only athletic pursuit had been horseback riding and jumping as a teenager.

Bert was an accomplished athlete, so he asked her to run with her one day. And she hasn’t stopped since.

But on Monday, she couldn’t run from her fear.

She was sobbing so uncontrollably amid the chaos that a marathon volunteer escorted her out of the lockdown area and let her head back to her hotel, the Fairmont.

There, hotel workers let her back inside even amid the sudden security crackdown.

"I was so afraid.”

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