Ruth Thompson, a math teacher and girls basketball coach at Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, finished the Boston Marathon 45 minutes before the explosions Monday, she said in an email.
"I made it through the finish area, gathered my clothes and had just met up with some of my family when we heard the explosions," Thompson wrote. "As we were leaving the area, multiple emergency vehicles were making their way to the finish line."
Thompson and her family made it to her sister's house in a Boston suburb. Thompson's brother-in-law, Jeremy Pekari, who is a Lutheran minister, went back to Boston with other pastors to see if they could help, Thompson wrote.
"As I write this, he is still down there," she said.
Pekari and other pastors were able to talk to some of the emergency responders and help some of the runners to a new meeting area so they could be reunited with their loved ones, Thompson said.
They also kept a local church open to allow people to use the restroom or provide a haven for people who couldn't get back to their hotels, Thompson said.
Thompson encouraged people to pray for those who are injured or died in the explosion.
"As always, it is good to remember to give blood. While I heard that the hospitals in Boston had to send potential donors away, I am sure the supply is low and will eventually need to be restocked," Thompson wrote. "Because we never know when something like this will happen, getting into the habit of giving blood regularly is something everyone can do."
Thompson was scheduled to return to the metro-east on Tuesday afternoon, but her flight was delayed in Detroit. She is scheduled to get into St. Louis on Tuesday evening.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who were injured, family members who are still looking for their relatives and all emergency staff and doctors treating the injured."
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at email@example.com or 618-239-2570.