Greg Meyer, 57, returned home from a trip he’s taken just about every year since 1983.
That’s the year he became the last American to win the Boston Marathon.
Fifteen minutes after finishing Monday’s race, he headed to the VIP and medical tents.
“We were just standing there chatting, normal and then all of sudden ‘boom,’ and it was like a cannon went off. It was huge,” Meyer described.
He said he stood about a hundred feet from the explosion. Meyer initially thought a transformer blew, but the look on police officer’s faces hinted at something worse.
“And then the second one went off, and you could see people run away and people running towards… and how quickly they responded was incredible,” Meyer said.
He believes major marathons will take a serious look at security. Since 911, he said Boston has led way when it comes to security at major events.
“They have bomb sniffing dogs out in the morning going up and down. If a crazy person wants to do some damage, they’re going to do it, and if they can’t find one target, they’ll find another,” Meyer said.
“[Security protocols] will change. I just don’t know how,” he added.
As for Grand Rapids’ 5/3 River Bank Run, Meyer said, “I’m sure everyone is going over there protocols for what they do and how they behave and the precautions they take and what they have in place should an emergency occur.”
“The thought of what could have been worse, but then you think… how could it be worse? You talking about an 8 year old kid dead. People losing their limbs, the descriptions that were coming out were horrible.”
“And it was spectators watching their families do something they love to do. [It] makes no sense, makes no sense,” Meyer said.
He said he and his family will return to Boston next year.