UC Merced Sports

Merced runners share Boston Marathon experience

BOSTON — Spencer Castro’s race had been done for about an hour when a pair of bombs rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon.

The UC Merced cross country coach said he was about a block away getting his legs rubbed down in a building set up by the race.

“Everybody’s reaction was ‘What was that?’ ” Castro said. “At first we thought something had collapsed, but then word came in that there had been an explosion.

“It was a pretty good sized explosion. The concussive blast blew out all the nearby windows.”

Castro said he made his way back to the hostel he was staying at and started checking in with the people he’d been rooming with.

Meanwhile, fellow Merced resident James Bond had also finished the marathon about an hour before the bombs went off. He was at a nearby restaurant with his family when he found out what happened.

“We were two blocks away,” Bond said. “We were having a good time, high-fiving everyone else as they came in after finishing. There was background music and sports on TV.

“I didn’t hear anything when the bombs went off, but I did hear quite a bit of sirens. I didn’t know what was going on until I got a phone call from my mom. She was frantic, asking if I was OK. I told her I was fine, that I finished the race.

“She said, ‘No, something happened.’

“That’s when I saw the TV switch from sports to breaking news. I looked around and saw a lot of people running.”

Bond, his wife and two children stayed at the restaraunt for another half hour before returning to their hotel room.

This story was originally published April 15, 2013 3:56 PM.

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