At 3:15 p.m., David Allen had finished running the Boston Marathon, and was on the road back to New Jersey. He had no idea there had been
The text function on his cell phone suddenly went beserk.
"That's how I found out. I started getting texts from people, asking if I was OK," said Allen, 34, of Metuchen.
He pulled the car over to look at the pictures on his phone.
"I ran past there, an hour before the explosion," he said. "My family was there."
Eleanor Phelan is standing watch in her Metuchen home, posted by the phone and the television endlessly replaying the video of the explosions. Her son, John, 42, was a runner in the Marathon.
"I don't know what to do. I don't know which way to turn," she said, her voice cracking. "He hasn't called me."
Her daughter-in-law Jennifer and her granddaughter had been at the Marathon. "They stayed the weekend. They came back yesterday."
So far, she hasn't heard from Jennifer, either. "Maybe she's afraid to call me. I don't know," Eleanor said. "I'm so scared."
Allen, who was driving back with his family and fellow marathon runner Patrick McCaffrey of Metuchen, said this was his first Boston Marathon. He ran the race in three hours.
Everyone he knows who was running in the marathon is fine, Allen said.
"The race was fine, until this," he said. "It ruined the whole thing."
UPDATE: Eleanor Phelan reports that her son has called in, and he's fine.