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Local runner safe following Boston Marathon blasts

Tanya Collum had just completed her third Boston Marathon and was making her way back to her hotel room Monday afternoon when the unimaginable happened.

“I finished about 20 minutes before the explosions and was walking back to my hotel, which is five blocks away,” said Collum, who lives on the Franklin-Colbert county line near Coon Dog Cemetery.

The explosions she referred to were two bomb blasts detonated about 3 p.m. CDT near the finish line of the race, which attracted more than 14,000 runners from around the world.

“I was about two blocks from the finish line when I heard two explosions and was pretty sure it was a bomb. I hurried back to my room. At that point it became very scary.”

Collum completed the race in three hours and 48 minutes. But the most important time she made on Monday was the 20-minute difference from her completion to the bombs’ detonation.

“I saw the chaos two blocks away,” said Collum, still stunned by the afternoon’s events.

“People were crying and heading toward the finish. It was probably families trying to check on loved ones. Police and emergency vehicles were trying to get to the finish line. It was difficult for them because of the crowd. This is very upsetting to be in the area of a terrorist attack.”

Collum and her family are set to leave Boston early Tuesday morning.