Former resident felt ‘scared but safe’

By Ned Seaton

Wendy Summerhill Johnson, a former Manhattanite who ran the Boston Marathon Monday, got a text message from her mother afterward: “Thank goodness you’re fast.”

Johnson, 45, ran the race in 3:23, meaning she had gone back to her hotel a block away from the finish line by the time the bomb went off. She said she didn’t feel the explosion, and she never heard, felt or saw anything unusual during the race. Afterward, the first two floors of her hotel were evacuated, but she and her husband, Glenn, were able to stay in their third-floor room until they felt danger had passed. They ventured out to get dinner. 

“We felt scared but safe,” she said. “It was just unbelievable.”

Johnson, who grew up in Manhattan, graduated from MHS in 1986 and K-State in 1991.

She’s now a family practice physician in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. She and her husband had left their 9-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter —“thankfully,” she said — at home. It was her sixth time running Boston, and her 30th marathon, and “I had a great run,” she said. “I was smiling the whole way.”

At 3:23, she was running a pace of about 7-and-a-half-minute miles. Had she run about 90 seconds slower per mile, she would have been around the finish line at the time of the explosion.

“That could have been me,” she said. “It’s kind of life-changing. You think about your kids.”

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