Minocqua Marathoner Home Safe from BostonSubmitted: 04/17/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

MINOCQUA - Co-workers of Matt Thomas hugged him more today than they ever have before.

He's a Minocqua runner who finished his fourth Boston Marathon just before two explosions killed three and injured almost two hundred of people.

"It was just completely different," Thomas said.

Thomas finished his fourth Boston Marathon Monday on what he called a perfect day to run.

Watching for two other Lakeland area friends to come to the finish line…

He said it was like loud, close fireworks or a Revolutionary War style cannon.

"People were like, is that normal? I said, 'I've been here for four years, and I've never seen anything like that'. I think it was about 20 seconds later, but , I don't know, time kind of goes funny, then, in that situation, the second explosion went off," Thomas said.

That was when he knew it was no accident, and no celebration.

"People got blown into the course, and the barricades got blown over by the blast. Right away, by seeing what had happened to the people and the barricades coming out into the course, you knew something was not right," said Thomas.

He looked around him for backpacks or trash cans that could be another bomb, and didn't see any.

Because of that, he decided not to move from his spot a couple hundred yards from the explosions.

Instead, he watched the emergency workers rushing to help.

"It was pretty incredible. To see the response - when the second blast went off, the first police cars and the first fire trucks, first two fire trucks and ambulance were there within seconds," Thomas said.

Boylston Street, once packed with thousands of people, was nearly deserted.

That took just minutes.

But it took closer to hours for the entire Northwoods group to reunite - all of them totally safe.

Thomas could take at least one positive from Monday - his marathon time qualifies him for next year's Boston.

So will he go back to run at that same place?

"My view is, I'm going to run Boston because, if you don't run Boston, then you're giving the people who did this exactly what they wanted which is, you're afraid of doing things you normally did," he said.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

WISCONSIN - This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history.

The totals cement Wisconsin's title as the best state in the U.S. for bear harvests with 4,643 registered.

But it wasn't all good news for bear hunters. 

This year also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Marathon County man who drove to Rhinelander to meet up with a 15-year-old girl for sex told police he nearly turned around.

Instead, Dustin Zernicke pulled into the Shopko parking lot Friday night and found officers waiting for him.

The 35-year-old Zernicke made his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Monday afternoon.  Undercover officers posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.  The post said "Mom sent me [to] Rhinelander for the weekend and I have nothing to do."

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Many of us already put out the scary decorations and pumpkins for some Halloween spirit. But if you're looking to take it up a notch, dress like a zombie and grab your running shoes this Saturday.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - This fall Wausau's Woodson Art Museum will bring together artists from all over the world. 

The Birds in Art exhibit gives artists an opportunity to share a piece of themselves with their audience.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department sees the need for more, younger EMTs to get into the business. Like other area departments, it wants to ensure its staff will stay strong for years into the future.

People like Dylan Schielke can help make that happen.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - We likely won't find out who Rhinelander's next police chief will be until early next year.  But the city is already working to replace Chief Mike Steffes.

Newswatch 12 learned earlier this month Chief Steffes is leaving Rhinelander to take a job with the Department of Justice.

Steffes beat out 34 other candidates to win the chief job in 2007.  Police and Fire Commission President Todd McEldowney expects to see dozens of new applicants this time.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually. But the Board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the Town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings's seat.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here