Clovis Community College President Becky Rowley, a seven-time participant in the Boston Marathon, spent part of Monday morning wishing she had made it an eighth time this year, as she heard the weather conditions were perfect.
On her lunch break, that desire had understandably changed. She got a call from her mother about the explosion at the marathon's finish line, around four hours into the annual race.
"I've been sort of glued to it, to tell you the truth, since then," Rowley said. "Unless I'd had an unusually bad or an unusually good year, that's about 30 minutes within my finishing time."
Rowley couldn't estimate a more exact time because of the nature of the marathon. Runners are seeded by their qualifying times, so a pack of equal runners will sometimes not break from each other. Additionally, there are so many people that many people don't even cross the start line until five minutes after the opening gun.
"The crowd thins out, but you're running with a lot of people the entire time," said Rowley, whose 2012 race time of 4:11.04 put her 10,779th out of 22,485 total runners.
Rowley said she couldn't imagine how hectic the area was for runners and their relatives in waiting areas, because even on a well-run marathon a middle-of-the-pack runner could need 45 minutes to wade through the crowd and leave.
In general, Rowley has gone on alternate years to the marathon, and plans to keep going even though she knows the race has been irreversibly changed.
"I still plan to go back next year," Rowley said. "I already have a qualifying time in."
The incident has had a small impact on CCC, as Rowley decided to cancel an Upward Bound trip to Boston that was scheduled for Wednesday.