Despite bombing, runner vows to be back in Boston
Special to the TIMES NEWS Regine Sediva at the Boston Marathon.
Regine Sediva won't let violence at this year's Boston Marathon race stop her from running there again next year.
"I want to go back so I can cross that finish line," she said, adding that the incident hasn't caused her any fear.
Sediva, 46, of Chino, Calif., is the daughter of Lansford native Tom Sediva. Her uncles are Joe Sediva of Lansford and John Sediva of Summit Hill. She has visited the Panther Valley area over the years.
Regine, who is legally blind, was about a half mile away from the site where the homemade bomb - the crock pot with nails and ball bearings - exploded. The race was halted and she was prevented from crossing the finish line in her first-ever entry into the prestigious race.
She said she wasn't injured because "God was watching over me."
Regine explained that according to calculations, she was running the race at a slight pace slower than she normally runs. Had she been running at her usual speed, she probably would have been very close to the location where the bombs exploded.
Attending the race with Sediva were her step-mother, Peggy Richardson Sediva, who is married to Tom, and Peggy's daughter (Regine's step-sister), Jill, 11. They were much closer to the bombs than Regina; possibly only two blocks away.
Regine said Peggy told her the blast "sounded like a building collapsing." Jill equated the sound to "real loud thunder."
Regine and the other runners were stopped at a bridge. She said initially nobody around her knew what was going on "but in time we found out. My first instinct was to call may step-mother and my step-sister. I couldn't get through right away. I was at the bridge, at the spot, for a good 45 minutes before I could reach them."
She noted that officials of the race brought water and blankets to the participants, and eventually let them go to the area where buses were parked. A family meeting place was designated.
Peggy told her that she wanted to run and try to find Regine, but officials wouldn't let her.
Needless to say, it was a tearful reunion.
As soon as she returned to the hotel, Regine called her father to tell him she was okay.
The Boston Marathon is a qualifying event
The Californian has been running half-marathons since 1993. She had to take some time off running because of plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition. She eventually returned to the events, and began running in full marathons this year. Boston was her sixth such race.
A member of the Inland Empire Running Club, her first full marathon was in Orange County, California in 2011. There were about 20 members of her club at this year's Boston Marathon.
Last year, she visited a step-sister in Texas and entered a marathon race. She discovered the event was a qualifier to Boston.
Because she is legally blind, her qualifying time could be a maximum of five hours. She qualified in 3:55. Her time in Orange County the previous year was even faster: 3:50.
At Boston, when the race was stopped, "I was running close to four hours so I should have been near the finish line," she noted. It was near the finish line when the home-made bombs went off.
She began talking to other runners about Boston and made up her mind to compete.
She, Peggy, and Jill arrived in Boston on the Saturday before the Monday, April 15 event. They rented a car and visited areas outside of Beantown, including Lexington and Plymouth.
Then on Marathon Day, it began as a wonderful event. The weather was perfect compared to a year ago when temperatures were 20 degrees below normal.
Everybody was friendly and Regine was filled with excitement that she was going to be participating in the most well-known marathon race in the world. "I loved it and it was lots of fun," she said.
At 2:49 p.m., the explosions occurred and the race was stopped.
Regine admits that because of the distance, "It wasn't too scary for me, but it was very confusing."
She said Peggy gave a lot of praise to the emergency responders, stating "they were so well organized."
Medals were given to the runners. The California trio returned home on Wednesday, two days after the bombing.
"I'm going to go back to Boston," she said. "I have to cross the finish line. I'm not afraid."
Asked about her placing in this year's race, she responded that she hasn't even checked. "I'm not even going to worry about it," she said.