Wisconsinites in Boston for Marathon react to tragedy

BOSTON (WITI) -- Dozens of Wisconsinites were in Boston for the Boston Marathon -- and FOX6 News reached out to some of them following the explosions that rocked Boston on Monday afternoon, April 15th.

Dr. Gary Krenz is the chair of the Marquette University Math Department, and was running the Boston Marathon.

"It was quite loud, and they told us to keep on moving, and then the second one went off. It looked quite similar," Dr. Krenz said.

Dr. Krenz had just crossed the finish line when the first explosion went off. Seconds sooner, and he believes he may have died.

"Probably 30 seconds or less -- something like that," Dr. Krenz said.

Sarah Petrick of Bay View crossed the finish line two minutes before the explosion happened.

"I had an injury that flared back up and I was struggling through so knowing that an extra step or my injury acting up a little more made it ring home a little more," Petrick said.

Orthopedist Michael Gordon had already finished the race well before the tragedy unfolded.

"We had just met up with friends and family and heard a loud explosion and didn't know much of what was going on until we went to the hotel and got word there was an explosion. First, we thought it was a transformer and then it turned out to be much more ominous," Gordon said.

The brother of FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn also ran the race. He was back at his hotel when the explosions occurred.

"We were not there but it's a little bit surreal around here as you can imagine with a lot of people freaked out and crying," Tom Polcyn said.

Upset for some time was Milwaukee City Engineer Jeff Polenske. Polenske is in Boston supporting his wife, who ran the marathon. According to his mother, the engineer and his wife couldn't find one another for 10 terrifying minutes after the blast. Fortunately, neither were hurt.

"It was horrible. It was horrible for him. It was horrible for us as a family and of course we're wondering what's going on in the world today," Polenske's mother said.