BOSTON — Peabody native Ryan Wiebe was looking forward to his first trip to the Boston Marathon.
The 23-year old Kansas State senior founded a club at the school to train for the event, as well as raise money and sponsorships to attend.
He and three of his club mates competed Monday, a race that was marred by explosions that killed three and injured more than 140 at press time.
He finished the race more than an hour before the explosions. He and his club mates were accounted for and uninjured.
“I didn’t see the explosion, but I definitely felt it for sure,” Wiebe said. “We had four runners from K-State. Two of them had parents with them. We are all safe. I was with a couple of them at about 2:05 p.m. We were a couple of blocks from where the explosions happened. The explosions happened about 2:50.”
Wiebe said it was a while before he even saw news reports about what happened. He said leaving the city was difficult, especially since the subway system was shut down soon after the explosions.
“I had been trying to find out what happened,” he said. “I just saw the news. I just got out of the city.”
Wiebe said the events of the race won’t deter him from entering another one, but he expects some changes.
“My fear is they are going to be more expensive to hold — especially events like the Boston and New York marathons,” Wiebe said. “There’s going to be more security. When I got to the start, you put all your things in bags and bus them to the finish.
They didn’t search you or anything. This is going to drive up the cost of races.”
Wiebe was competing in his third marathon. His first was the Eisenhower Marathon as a sophomore. After the formation of the K-State Marathon Club, he and his teammates competed at the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, where four members qualified for the Boston race.
Wiebe finished in a time of 2:46.07. He was 537th overall, 509th among males and 418th in his division. He was third among Kansans competing.
“I felt pretty good about the race,” Wiebe said. “It was a PR for me.”
He is a 2008 Peabody-Burns High School graduate. He qualified for state in the 2007 Class 2A cross country championships, finishing 51st. Peabody-Burns finished fifth in state that year.
He was ninth at state in the 800-meter run as a senior.
Wiebe is a senior at Kansas State, majoring in industrial engineering. He is one of the founders of the K-State Marathon Club, which trains for marathons. No injuries among Kansas runners were reported.