Rapid response Boston police, guns drawn, react to the second explosion. (John Tlumacki / Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Shortly before 3pm on April 15, Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes was in the home stretch of his seventh Boston Marathon when, suddenly, there were cops blocking the route. He didn’t hear the two bombs that had exploded up at the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 250. So he detoured to a nearby street to keep running, wanting to complete the race. When police again stopped him, “I was able to figure out that something must be grievously wrong,” he said.
Rezendes leapt into reporter mode, asking the nearest officer what had happened. Then he tried to borrow a cellphone to call the newsroom. But the networks were overloaded by then, so he found a bar where he could use a landline.
“I called the Globe, and our famously gruff city editor, Mike Bello, said to me, ‘Find somebody who saw something.’ ” The finish line was cordoned off, so Rezendes, a longtime investigative reporter, returned to where vans shuttled members of his running group between the race and their clubhouse. “When I got there, there was a woman I know who was a wife of a guy that was running the marathon, and she told me she had seen the second bomb go off with her 6-year-old and 7-year-old,” he said. Rezendes eventually made his way back to the newsroom, along with a well-worn fleece from a stranger in the street who thought he looked cold. “That was just sort of a typical act of Boston Marathon generosity,” Rezendes said. “I sat here in my running shorts at my desk, and the guy’s grungy jacket and my sweaty Red Sox hat that I always wear running the marathon.”
He filed his copy, showered at the office, and was finally driving to eat when the newsroom called: Police were searching a home in Revere with bomb-sniffing dogs. Rezendes headed to the scene, waiting there until about 10:30pm. Then, uncomfortably cold, he left for spaghetti and beer. It was the first time all day his endurance waned.
“I just never felt the slightest fatigue or exhaustion,” said Rezendes, who put a large investigation on hold to continue reporting on the bombings’ aftermath. “I’ve been telling myself it just means I wasn’t running hard enough.”