Courtesy: Frank Kight
85 runners in the Boston Marathon are from Nevada. 22 are from Reno, and 11 from Sparks. With many of them, an entourage of family and friends to cheer them on. For one father, an event which should have only been filled with joy to see his daughter cross the finish line, turned into a day of terror.
"I thought it was something festive, like you know how they do something goes off because of the celebration type thing, so that was my first thought," says Sparks resident Frank Kight.
Kight, his entire family and a group of friends were all near the finish line to watch his daughter 31-year-old Amy Blomquist complete the Boston Marathon.
Fearing they’d missed her, Kight, his ex-wife Marilyn and son-in-law Scott walked even closer to the end of the world’s most prestigious road race.
"I kind of ducked because it was pretty loud. I ducked,” Kight said of the first blast. “And as I was getting back up, another explosion occurred. And when that next one occurred, people started screaming and there was chaos."
Frank describes those next tense seconds.
"I kind of dove for the ground. So I went down, and I, as I laid there, for the moment I started to think 'where's Marilyn, and where's Scott, and I got up and I saw people laying there, and the blood was there, and I saw people all around me."
It was in this moment he questioned whether to stay in one place, or leave his known location to look for his family, "So I stay there, and I did find Marilyn, and she was hurt and bloody, and I consoled her."
Kight says medical attendants arrived immediately and separated the two. Both had injuries to the leg, but Marilyn’s were more severe. She was taken to a different hospital than Frank. One which is under lockdown, “So I can't get in there,” Frank says, “I have talked to her, briefly, and she said that she was going to get surgery on her leg."
And other than Frank and Marilyn, everyone else is alive and accounted for. Their daughter, Amy, had crossed the finish line some 15 minutes before the blast, Frank says.
"I tell you what, there are some real blessings in here. I know we got hurt, but we could've been killed. And some people did get killed. So I count my blessings about this whole experience."
Frank Kight is a retired track coach and school counselor, having worked in the Washoe County School District.
Amy, by the way, completed the marathon in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds according to the Boston Marathon website.