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Some Fox Valley Runners Describe Scene at Boston Marathon


APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin was well represented at this year's Boston Marathon. 

Over 400 runners took part, with approximately 45 from Northeast Wisconsin.

One of them is former State Representative Steve Wieckert of Appleton. He finished the marathon about five minutes before the explosions happened.

"All of a sudden there was this big, muffled bang, very loud, but muffled and we turned around in that direction and heard another bang immediately and then saw the smoke from that second bang,” Wieckert told FOX 11.

Wieckert says he knew something was seriously wrong when police escorted him and other runners in the opposite direction.

Fellow Appleton-area runner Chad Gruett finished about an hour and a half before the explosions. He says there was a lot of confusion.

"It's been pretty chaotic since then. The police have the area all cordoned of. They swept the area looking for any additional devices,” said Gruett.

Both Gruett and Wieckert say the other runners from the Fox Valley they traveled with are alright. But communication has been tough for those here at home trying to contact loved ones in Boston.

Gruett and Wieckert are asking why this happened?

"Shock and disbelief,” said Gruett.

“Pretty angry, pretty angry. It's just a world-class event and then to have this happen,” stated Wieckert.

And Wieckert is thankful he finished when he did, just moments before the blasts. Leg cramps almost held him back.

"By a few minutes, I think, I think I could've been right there. So I'm a little shook to be honest with you,” said Wieckert.