Dunedin runner Peter Frew's first major marathon will not
be forgotten - by him or the rest of the world.
Nor will Paul Berg (54), of Alexandra, remember the Boston
Marathon for his achievement, a personal best time of 3hr
An hour after finishing the race, as he and partner Karen
McCarthy were sitting in a nearby cafe, they heard a ''huge,
loud explosion'', Karen's mother, Mary McCarthy, said.
''All these people were screaming and crying ... they just
got up and ran. They didn't know what was going on.''
Mrs McCarthy had heard about the explosions early yesterday
and waited, nervously, for four hours until she received an
internet call from the coupleto say they were safe.
Mr Frew (45), from Brockville, completed yesterday's marathon
in just over three hours, also an hour before the bombs
detonated. His family and friends in Dunedin woke to the news
and desperately tried to make contact with the runner, who
travelled to the United States with his partner, Linda
The builder communicated via text message, confirming they
were both safe and well at their hotel.
''It is a sad day over here,'' Mr Frew told his friend and
fellow Dunedin runner Richard Hendry.
Nicole Frew, an Otago University student and the eldest of Mr
Frew's three daughters, said she was traumatised by the
alleged terrorist attack so close to her father.
She received a phone call about 7am ''saying there had been a
bombing at the event and no-one knew where my dad was''.
An hour later, she was relieved to be able to talk to him
and discover he was all right.
It was believed no other members of Dunedin's running
fraternity had entered the marathon, which annually attracts
about 20,000 competitors.
Athletics Otago administration officer Margaret Knox said she
did not know of other runners from the region competing in
Carole Mills, of Auckland agency Marathon Travel, said no
Otago residents booked through the company for the Boston
All who did so, about 40, were from Auckland and reportedly
Athletics New Zealand confirmed 45 New Zealand citizens were
registered to run the race.
Prime Minister John Key said the New Zealand embassy in
Washington, supported by the New Zealand Honorary Consul in
Boston, was liaising with US authorities to determine if any
New Zealanders needed assistance.
''We have not received reports of New Zealand runners or
spectators being injured,'' Mr Key said.