As two explosions rocked the storied Boston Marathon Monday injuring hundreds of people and reportedly killing three, Chula Vista resident and Navy man Wilmer Gange, 37, was a lucky one.
“I was actually out of there before all that stuff happened,” Gange said.
“We were very fortunate because I was flying out that night and I had to get to the airport, so I literally went straight from the finish area with my wife and hopped on the subway to the airport.”
“If that hadn’t happened, we probably would have hanged out at the finish area to watch the race and maybe about 20-minutes after I went into the subway is when the explosion happened.”
Gange’s wife was there as a spectator and to show support for her husband.
The Navy commander finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:09. He said about an hour after he finished the race is when the first explosion happened.
When Gange first heard the news, he said he was in line at Boston’s Logan International Airport going through security when a fellow runner at the airport saw the news on a smart phone and notified Gange what had happened.
“None of us thought anything of it,” Gange said. “We thought maybe it was a gas leak or something more benign, but when we went inside the terminal we saw people hovering around a television.”
While at the airport, Gange said he spent about 30 minutes returning phone calls and text messages from family and friends checking in to see if the runner was safe.
Gange said the day before the historic footrace, he and his wife went around taking pictures of the marathon area.
Now he said he can’t believe how the area looks after the explosions.
He said security was the same as any other marathon he’s competed in. He also said there was a strong police presence and he felt safe competing.
Despite this year’s tragic incident, Gange said he can’t wait to compete again next year, which he has already qualified for.
“I plan to be back,” he said. “Now this makes me want to go back even more to run it and be part of the event.”