Former Blackfoot man safe in Boston aftermath
For one former Blackfoot man, the celebration of the Boston Marathon ended with two bombs going off near the finish line on Monday.
Matt Hong, a Blackfoot High School graduate, was running his first Boston Marathon.
When contacted, Hong said, "My wife and I are okay."
"I had finished the marathon a half-hour before the explosion," he said. "We are staying with friends near the scene of the explosion.
"After cleaning up, we were heading back to the finish to cheer on other runners," Hong said. "People were heading toward us, coming in the opposite direction,from the finish line.
"We knew something was happening," Hong said. "Everyone was pretty freaked out."
"Emergency vehicles were passing us," he said.
"Such a great thing [the marathon]," said Hong. "That someone would do this; It's a bad thing for Boston."
After high school, Hong graduated from Brigham Young University.
Matt and his wife, Carrie, have two young children, a boy and girl. They live in Bellevue, Wash., where he is a computer software developer with Expedia, the travel company.
Hong and his wife are traveling to London Tuesday morning on a business trip.
He qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a marathon in Victoria, B.C., Canada, said his father, Jerry Hong. "He was 84th out of 5,000."
The Morning News Facebook page, like thousands of others, featured numerous posts expressing sorrow for what had happened in Boston and encouraging prayers for the victims.
Jon Lyksett, the race director for Blackfoot's own Tommy Vaughn's Marathon and More, spoke for many when he posted, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragic events in Boston today. It's so very sad that an event of such joy has to be the target of such a sick act."
The Tommy Vaughn's Marathon, which will be run on May 18, is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.