Appleton Runner Finishes Race Minutes Before Blasts
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
APPLETON, WI --The attacks in Boston hit too close for comfort for one Appleton couple. Steve Wieckert finished the marathon minutes before the first explosion. He's the vice president of Pacesetters, the Fox Cities running club, and a former state legislator.
Wieckert and his wife describe what ensued when they realized it was a bomb.
"There was a big bang. A big loud muffled bang," said Steve Wieckert.
Minutes before the first blast, Steve Wieckert had crossed the finish line.
"We saw the next explosion and heard the smoke from it go up," said Steve.
His wife Amy was waiting in nearby to congratulate him.
"It was just elbow to elbow people and we heard these loud booms. And everyone stopped talking for just a minute. It got real quiet" said Amy Wieckert.
Steve says at first no one realized what happened, but when police began evacuating the area he realized he was in danger.
"I was hoping what I was thinking was not happening," said Steve
He says he was caught in a mass of thousands of people and all he wanted was to find his wife.
"You realize this is something big. Serious. A tragedy that happened. It's emotional. It hits you emotionally, like man kind of like a 9/11 thing. I shed a tear or two believing that" said Steve.
Amy was in panic, she remembers finding her husband in the crowd. She's still emotional thinking about the terrifying experience.
"It's just so sad and so tragic" said Amy.
The Wieckerts say they look forward to coming home to Wisconsin on Wednesday and reuniting with friends and family.