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Vermont Marathoner Says Scene Was Chaotic

Vermonters are reacting to the news of the blasts at the Boston Marathon yesterday, and many are expressing sadness for those injured or killed in the attack. Others are relieved that their friends and family are safe today.

Over 100 Vermonters were running in the marathon yesterday. We caught up with one this morning. Nancy Heydinger of Vernon is also the executive director of Girls On the Run Vermont.

Heydinger says she’s feeling shakier than she did on Monday, as the magnitude of the event is settling in.

She had just gotten her metal and was putting on a Mylar blanket when the explosion hit.

“My first reaction was, oh my gosh,” Heydinger said.

It reminded her of images of 9/11. She immediately knew it was a bomb, and started to run toward her 22-year-old daughter, Caroline, in the family meeting area, who had finished the marathon a half hour earlier.

“Rescue people were there in seconds,” Heydinger said.  “It was chaotic, there were hundreds of volunteers who didn’t know what to do.”

Just 15 minutes later they found a charter bus that got them out of the city.

As Executive Director of Girls on the Run, Heydinger says the girls met yesterday and talked about the Boston Marathon at their practice.

“We want to make sure our girls talk about it and express their concerns and fears, we want them to feel comfortable,” Heydinger said.

The organization has three 5Ks coming up in the near future, they’ll review their safety plans.

“This will be my last marathon,” Heydinger said, and that decision was made before the events of Monday. But she would run Boston again, if a marathon were in her future.

“It’s an amazing city and they’ve done an amazing job, I feel like it could be stronger than ever,” Heydinger said.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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