At roughly 2:40 p.m. this afternoon, Jill Beccaris-Pescatore of Glenside realized a long-time goal as she crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Just 10 minutes later, she was a block and a half away when she heard the explosions.
"It sounded like a cannon," said Beccaris-Pescatore, a 45-year-old economics professor from Montgomery County Community College. "It definitely sounded like an explosion. People know that it didn't sound right."
Within seconds, Boylston Street -- where she was picking up the bag with her clothes -- was filled with ambulances and police cars. Beccaris-Pescatore was relieved to know that several friends who'd completed the race ahead of her were OK, and so were her husband and son, who'd been spectators just a couple of blocks before the finish line. But at the same time she is horrified that the iconic running event became the apparent target of terrorists.
"It's just terrible and it makes me so angry," she said by cell phone from Boston this afternoon, adding that "it puts the whole thing in perspective."
Before 3 p.m., it had been a glorious day for Beccaris-Pescatore, whose efforts to train and finally qualify for the Boston Marathon was chronicled in the Inquirer this weekend.Ironically, she'd said in the article that she started running marathons nine years ago after almost losing her arm to an infection.
Yesterday, she brought that same resolve to speaking about the attack on the race. She vowed that she will be back in 2014.
"We'll do it again next year -- we'll be back," said Beccaris-Pescatore. "This kind of stuff just angers you. Whoever would do such a thing to all these people who came out to see their friends and family?"