By River Hain
Her prior average was 4:09:32—the exact hour and minute the bombs in Boston detonated. Call it luck or training, but Carmel High parent Jennifer Field crossed the finish line on Huntington Avenue at a new personal best of 3:53:44. Then she witnessed the bombs explode.
At the time of the Patriot’s Day explosions, which killed three people and left more than 200 injured, Field was receiving her marathon completion badge just three blocks away. It was not until after the second explosion that she realized something was wrong.
“At first some people couldn’t even acknowledge the bomb because they were in such shock… Then after a few moments of silence it turned to panic,” says Field, who described the scene as sheer pandemonium. “Within minutes people were grabbing each other and getting hysterical.”
In the midst of the chaos Field was in her own state of panic: her 15-year-old daughter, Katy, and 22-year-old son, Jason, whom she had last seen at the finish line, were not answering their phones.
Meanwhile, Katy and Jason were also in panic trying to find their mom.
“I was worried another bomb would go off so my main concern was to get away and find my mom,” Katy says.
The two parties were reunited seven minutes later at the family center.
Because all public transport was shut down, Field, who had just finished a personal-best marathon, walked another seven miles to her hotel in the neighboring town of Brookline.
This was Field’s first Boston Marathon. All of her priors have been in Big Sur in honor of her son, Ryan, who died on that very road in 2006 during a tragic car accident that also killed another Carmel High student, Alex Robbins.
Field says she feels utterly heartbroken for the patriotic Bostonians who lined the race course, cheering for the runners and waving American flags.
“The whole situation makes me sick to my stomach, not from the running, but for the people.”