Augusta doctor, runner was close to marathon bombing

 

 

Dr. Mike Rogers’ legs were just fast enough on Monday.

When Rogers turned the corner onto Boylston Street, the final stretch of the Boston Marathon, he was pushing himself to beat four hours and 10 minutes – the time required to qualify for next year’s race.

The 67-year-old orthodontist is a veteran marathoner who regularly clocks in finishes less than four hours, but Monday afternoon he was lagging – slowed by a recent surgery and hamstring cramps that struck around the 23-mile mark.

Rogers crossed the finish at 4:08:24. The first explosion ripped through the crowd nearby at 4:09:44, killing at least three people and injuring more than 140.

“If I was about one minute slower it would have gotten me,” Rogers said by phone Monday evening, still shaken by the day’s events.

“It was awful. Just very, very sad,” he said.

Rogers said he had time enough to walk away from the finishing area and get water and food from race volunteers when he heard the first blast outside.

“Right as I got down to the buses to get my race gear was when it went off,” he said. “Everyone was in a panic. People came running down the street and they told us to run. So, I ran.”

He quickly made his way out of the finish area and began trying to link up with his wife, Beth, who had not seen him since the start.

“It was interesting how my legs came back to life,” he said. “I could have run another mile or so to get out of there.”

Beth Rogers said she would have been watching for her husband at the finish line, but the crowds were too large, so she moved to a family waiting area about a block away.

“All of a sudden there was a big bang,” she said. “You could see the smoke coming up above the buildings and then there was another bang. The family area just got silent we were all in shock.”

Soon the streets were packed with ambulances and emergency personnel.

Mike Rogers said he managed to connect with Beth with one phone call before the local cellphone networks were overwhelmed. They both had to navigate the crowded streets to meet back at their hotel a few blocks away.

“I teared up when I finally saw him,” Beth Rogers said. “I’ve never been through anything like this.”

 

AREA RUNNERS IN THE RACE

NAME, CITY TIME

• Craig Cooper, North Augusta 3:12:56

• Michael Roloff, Aiken 3:24:07

• Lj Sizelove, Augusta 3:25:19

• Miriam Cortez-Cooper,

North Augusta 3:44:39

• John Head, Aiken 3:50:59

• Barbara Rose, North Augusta 3:57:41

• Michael Rogers, Augusta 4:08:24

• Todd Gagnon, Evans No finish time

• Laura Salman, Evans No finish time

• Raye Winsor, Augusta No finish time

 

Source: www.baa.org

WAITING FOR WORD

The catastrophe in Boston had local members of the Augusta running community scrambling for any information they could find about their friends who had entered the race.

Jenafer McCauley, a co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports, said she had gotten messages through Facebook from about 15 runners Monday evening.

“They all posted that they were OK,” McCauley said. “We’re all pretty worried over here.”

David Nance said he got word through text messages that two the runners he knew, Barbara Rose, of North Augusta, and Tina Stutt, of Greenville, S.C. had finished without incident.

Matt LeZotte, the athletic director at Aquinas High School, said he had several tense hours, trying to get word on his friend Craig Cooper and his wife, Miriam Cortez-Cooper. He was relieved to learn that their son Josh, an Aquinas student, had heard from them Monday night.

“It was a scary, scary situation,” he said. “Thank God. I was looking for them all afternoon.”

– Steve Crawford, staff writer

More

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:40

McDuffie Public Fishing Area great place for family fun

A few days ago, a young man asked me about places where he could fish from the bank since he didn’t have a boat. Read more

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:39

Overtime