A Pleasanton runner is safe, but narrowly missed being a victim of the deadly explosions that took place Monday along the Boston Marathon.
"I finished maybe six, seven, eight minutes before the explosions hit," said John Cligny from his Boston hotel room.
Cligny said he'd finished the run and was headed to get water when he heard the first explosion and saw smoke rising from the site, near Boylston Street.
"We heard a second explosion -- real loud, real, real loud," he said. "Lots of people were crying. Lots of people upset."
He said police cleared Boylston Street, which was crowded with spectators and runners.
"All of a sudden people started sprinting down Boylston Street," Cligny said. "Police were searching trash cans, looking for other devices."
Cligny said local news in Boston is now reporting three explosions, and that two other devices were found along the marathon route.
He was one of eight runners from Pleasanton who registered for the race. The other seven are: Utahna Cligny, Erin Lyions, J. Patrick McCarthy, Nancy Morehead, Lynn Muise, Karen Richards and Robyn Roybal. Utahna Cligny apparently did not run and all the others successfully completed the race.
There were 11 runners from San Ramon who registered. Steven Chavez, Jennifer Clooten, Krista Depenbrok, Larry Feigenbaum, Winton Jew, Ming Kuan, Zaida Owre, Tim Steele, Stephanie Vannicola Magsanay and Bob and Katherine Wondolleck all registered; Jew and Ming did not complete the race, according to the Boston Marathon's results page, posted online, while Chavez apparently did not run.
Danville also had 11 runners: Cheryl Babel, Erika Birnbaum, Leeann Coburn, Daniel Leonard, Cathy McClelland, Karl Molineaux, Jeff Patry, Rosaura Tennant, Tom Toffoli, Tori Tyler and Evan Veneklasen, although Veneklasen and Patry apparently did not compete, according to the marathon's website. Babel, Tenant and Toffoli had passed the halfway mark before the race was halted.
The Associated Press reported two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing two people, injuring 23 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators. A senior U.S. intelligence official said two other explosive devices were found nearby.
Police Commissioner Ed Davis said a third explosion happened at the JFK Library.
"We're not sure these incidents are related, but we're treating them like they are."
He also warned residents to stay in their homes and not go into crowded areas.
One runner, a Rhode Island state trooper, said the blasts tore limbs off dozens of people. As smoke rose over the glass-strewn street, bloody spectators were carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, the AP said.
There was no immediate word on the motive or who may have launched the attack, according to the AP report, which said about 27,000 runners took part in the 26.2-mile race, one of the world's premier marathons.
Another explosion was heard about an hour after the first two after authorities warned spectators to expect a loud noise from a water cannon that police apparently were using to destroy one of the devices, the AP reported.
Cligny said he had wondered about the possibility of a terrorist attack days before the event, noting the number of people there and the notoriety of the event.
"It's really a crazy thing, I can't even fathom it," he said about his idle speculation.
He said the run was bittersweet for him even before the bombings.
"I was running this year to raise money for cancer research," Cligny said. His daughter suffers from a type of brain cancer.
"Thanks to you all I have raised $10K for cancer research," a post on his Facebook page says.
Cligny may be safe, but he's a long way from home, and his trip may be delayed.
"I've heard they've closed the airspace over Boston," he said. Cligny was due to fly home tomorrow morning.