& Marcel Honoré
POSTED: 10:39 a.m. HST, Apr 15, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 6:57 p.m. HST, Apr 15, 2013
One of the leaders of the Hawaii contingent of runners at the Boston Marathon said tonight that "all the Hawaii people are accounted for."
Earlier in the day, Michael Kasamoto and others from Hawaii were trying to locate all the local runners to make sure they were safe.
"We're doing everything we can to get hold of a few people we haven't heard from," Kasamoto said earlier today, just a couple of hours after the fatal blast. "This has been a big shock."
But by the evening, Kasamoto told the Star-Advertiser that the runners were all OK.
According to the event's website, 57 people listed themselves as being from Hawaii. Nine either did not start or did not reach the halfway point of the 26.2 mile race. Seven others got as far as the midway point but did not finish.
"Some (runners) were unable to finish and were likely pulled off the course after the blasts," Kasamoto said.
Kasamoto, who finished his eighth Boston Marathon today, said he and others were calling "everybody we had a cell number for."
Their efforts were complicated by problems with cellular communication in the area.
In addition, runners who had already completed the race "scattered to their hotels," said Angela Sy, another runner.
"The (cell) lines have been flooded, so we have had a hard time making calls," said Emmie Saigusa of Mililani. "We've been trying to post on Facebook when we know someone is OK."
Mayor Kirk Caldwell said his 18-year-old daughter, Maya, was a spectator at the marathon this morning, and while she did not hear the explosion she saw the smoke, and emergency crews hurriedly responding.
She called pretty quickly to let her parents know she was fine, the mayor said today at a press conference in Honolulu. She is still stuck near the scene and unable to leave the area, he said late this morning. Maya Caldwell is a freshman at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Aina Haina runner Rachel Ross told the Star-Advertiser that she was jolted from her post-marathon celebration lunch by "two, quick-succession booms."
Ross, who had completed the 26.2 mile course through the city about an hour earlier said, "it sounded like one of those 18-wheeler (trucks) going over the big steel plates in the road — you know that 'thump! thump!' — right in a row."
She said she was about two blocks away from the scene relaxing with friends at the time of the blasts.
"Right after that there were a ton of police and fire everywhere," Ross said.
Then "the texts from friends started pouring in. There must have been at least 70, everybody asking, 'are you all right'," she said in a telephone interview.
Ross, who completed her second Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 3 minutes, said that "things like your time seem very unimportant when people are hurt."