Milwaukee runner shares story from Boston Marathon

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Having run the Boston Marathon before, Chris Wodke thought she knew what to expect.

"It was the same crowd, the same families. It was a big state holiday. But it wasn't the Boston experience I expected," Wodke said.

Wodke planned to return to Milwaukee on Tuesday evening with a medal around her neck. Instead, she returned a witness to a dark moment in our country's history.

"You`re shocked and you`re in the moment and you`re caught up in the event," Wodke said.

Wodke was still on the marathon course at Mile 23 when two bombs exploded near the finish line.

"Everything looked okay. It looked just like a normal course. The race was going on normally. Most of the people didn`t have cell phones -- they had iPods in. They were running along as if nothing had happened," Wodke said.

Wodke's first indication something horrific had happened came over a friend's cell phone.

"We started getting text messages lots of text messages with some initial reports of explosions," Wodke said.

Tony Bernier works with Wodke at We Energies. He knew she was running the marathon and immediately reached out.

"My first concern was with her well-being. I had heard that the phone systems were out, but evidently you could text message and I`m really thankful for that," Bernier said.

Reassurance that Wodke was okay came 10 minutes later.

"I did let everyone know that she was okay," Bernier said.

Not knowing what else to do, Wodke kept running -- but she would not cross the finish line.

"We came up to a police line and it was barricaded off and the police officer said the race is over," Wodke said.

At mile 25-and-a-half Wodke headed back to her hotel.

"As soon as I got to m hotel room I spent the next hour, hour-and-a-half texting, emailing, posting on Facebook that I was okay," Wodke said.

Wodke says initially, she and the other runners didn't really grasp the weight of what had happened because they had that tunnel vision that happens when running marathons. Now, looking back, Wodke says she's heartbroken this happened at such a joyous event. However, she says she has no hesitation about running the Boston Marathon again.

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