Crestwood woman shares Boston experience

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She & teens were at blast site only moments prior

By Drew Nichter

The Oldham Era has heard from friends and family members of several local runners who competed in today's Boston Marathon.

Kathy Riley, of Crestwood, is in Boston with friends Ashli Collins and Andrea Faulk who ran the race.

Riley said the two runners crossed the finish line just moments before the blasts rocked the area. Fortunately, both are safe and unharmed.

Jennifer Jones said via email that her brother-in-law Brian Jones, who also competed, is safe and back at his hotel room.

Kimberly Wood Smith, through Facebook, said Oldham County resident Kelly Flowers also is OK. He was three minutes from the finish line when the blasts occurred, Smith reported.

Riley said she and Collins' 15-year-old son and daughter were about a block from the finish line, heard the explosion and saw the smoke.

A few minutes later, Faulk called Riley and Collins called her daughter to tell them to hurry back to the hotel a few blocks away. They all were reunited at the hotel lobby about 15 minutes later.

Riley described the scene as surreal. Others around them thought maybe a construction crane had fallen from a nearby building.

Then emergency personnel began racing to the site of the blast, Riley recalled.

"Everybody was in fear," she said.

Riley said she and the teens were in the area of the blast no more than five minutes earlier.

They had attempted to walk underneath bleachers that were destroyed in the explosion, but were stopped by security personnel and barricades, she said.

"It was more than pure luck, I'm sure of that," Riley said.

Riley said neither Collins nor Faulk were hurt in the explosions. Other Oldham County area runners she knows to be OK are Clay Jones, Paul Loheide, Kelli Miller, Kathy Robson and Jeff Wells.

Of the marathon participants known to be Oldham Countians, The Oldham Era is awaiting word on Ellen J. Thimme, of Prospect.

If you have any information on Thimme or any others from Oldham County who competed in the Boston Marathon, please email us at news@oldhamera.com.

**UPDATE 8:25 p.m.**

The Oldham Era just received word via email that Prospect resident Ellen Thimme crossed the finish line just before the explosions, but was unharmed and is safe.