Eldridge man OK following bombing
by JAMES PHILLIPS
Apr 16, 2013 | 4922 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Phillip Aultman of Eldridge ran in Monday’s Boston Marathon and was not injured in the bombing that killed 3 and injured more than 130. – Photo courtesy of Janell Aultman.
Phillip Aultman of Eldridge ran in Monday’s Boston Marathon and was not injured in the bombing that killed 3 and injured more than 130. – Photo courtesy of Janell Aultman.
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Eldridge resident Phillip Aultman said he knew running in the Boston Marathon would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but he never imagined it would transform into a nightmare shortly after he finished the race.

Aultman finished the race in 3 hours, 57 minutes, about 30 minutes before two bombs exploded near the race’s finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 130.

“I was in the family meeting area when I heard the explosions,” Aultman said. “Things went crazy. I heard sirens. I knew my wife and girl were pretty close to that area.”

Aultman’s wife Janell and 18-year-old daughter Holly were in the stands near the finish line when the bombs went off.

“The first one exploded to our right, and a few seconds later the other one went off to the left,” Holly Aultman said. “It was across the street from us. The second one was only about 25 yards from us.

“I can’t remember what I was thinking when it happened,” she continued. “My mom and I were both trying to figure out what to do and where to go. We just wanted to find my dad.”

The Aultmans have four children. Adam, their 26-year-old son, was in Alabama while his dad ran the marathon. He said he got a phone call from his mother telling him about the incident.

“Mom called and said there was a severe situation,” he said. “The cell service was bad. All I could make out was ‘there are bombs ... looking for dad.’”

Adam Aultman said it was about an hour later that he received a phone call saying the family was reunited.

Phillip Aultman called the sitation before he found his wife and daughter “mass chaos.”

“I felt much better when we were all together,” he sad.

The Aultmans were forced to walk more than two hours back to their hotel.

“Mass transit was shut down — the city was being evacuated. I didn’t know if we would even make it back to the hotel,” Phillip Aultman said. “To get back, we would have had to walk through the area where the bombs went off. We had to do a loop around the city to make it back to the hotel — I’m icing my knees right now.”

Monday was Aultman’s first time to attempt the Boston Marathon. He said he qualified for the race by running the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville.

More than 100 Alabama residents participated in Monday’s race in Boston.

Patsy Woodson Brown, a Jasper native living in the Boston suburb of Quincy, said by phone Monday night that the day’s events were surreal.

“It’s just sickening,” she said. “You just think this can’t really be happening.”

Like most, her first thoughts were of who was behind the bombing.

“You just think, ‘Is it terrorists?’” she said. “Right now we just don’t know. It’s just so sad for everyone who has been affected by this.

“You always think this happens other places,” she added. “Then all of a sudden it happens here.”