MARQUETTE - Tracy Lokken of Marquette had finished running his sixth full Boston Marathon on Monday when he heard the news:
A pair of explosions had rocked the finish line, killing two and injuring at least 23 according to the Associated Press.
"I finished a couple of hours ago," he said in telephone call from Boston this afternoon. "I was in my motel room about a half-mile from the finish when a friend texted me about what was going on.
"I turned on the television to CNN and saw there was smoke everywhere (at the race site), with ambulances and emergency crews, too."
Lokken said he had heard sirens from his room.
"I thought it might have been an ambulance for a runner who had suffered a heart attack," he said. "I didn't think a bomb had gone off."
Lokken added he was trying to contact his sister, Terry Markley, from North Carolina, who accompanied him to the race as a spectator.
He said they had split up not long after the race.
"I don't think she went back to the finish line, but I can't get ahold of her," he said.
As for his performance in the race, Lokken ran a personal-best time of 2:22.27 over the 26.2-mile course.
"Not bad for a 47-year-old guy," he said, adding he believed he won his 45-49 age group, placed fourth overall in the Masters Division and 31st overall in the race.
"I had been training pretty well at the YMCA in Marquette, and had done well in a couple of marathons in Florida (before the Boston event).
"I knew I was in shape. I'm still wheeling and dealing," Lokken said.
He added he felt "really good" during the race on a day he said was "perfect" to run.
"There was a little headwind toward the end, but the sun popped out about nine miles from the finish," Lokken said. "It was an ideal day, but it's all overshadowed by what happened (with the explosions)."
He said he planned to return to Marquette Tuesday afternoon.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is email@example.com.