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My girlfriend's parents and I were...

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This story was collected by the Boston Globe in the days immediately following the Boston Marathon Bombing. GlobeLab collected these anonymous stories on the Boston.com website and donated them to the Our Marathon Archive. We are grateful for this contribution, which gives insight into how Bostonians and visitors to the city understood the bombing events in their immediate aftermath.

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My girlfriend's parents and I were able to get a front row spot on the barrier after a large group left. We had been tracking my girlfriend using the Find-My-Friends app. My phone died as she was running down Beacon. She had just crossed 90 when the screen went black

Minutes later the first bomb exploded. It was so loud. It sounded like a cannon. The smoke was alarming, but I didn't think too much of it. I knew something was off but it didn't register.

When the next bomb went off, we all knew something was wrong. While the videos make it sound like the screaming was immediate, I think most of us initially froze.

Looking across the street at the explosion, I saw bodies down on the ground. One person seemed to land on the curb on their stomach. They crawled to their elbows and looked up. Their face and chest were black from the explosion. They had blondish hair.

Then we all started to run up Ring Rd towards the South End. An old woman next to us fell over and my girlfriend's father stopped to pick her up before she was trampled. Thinking that it was a trashcan that had exploded, and standing next to a trashcan, I pushed the 3 of us farther away from Boylston.

I gave my girlfriend's parents our apartment keys, took her father's phone; and then I set out to find my girlfriend. Worried that there were more bombs along the course, I ran to Huntington and up Dalton to get back to the course.

There were 25 runners stopped at Hereford and Bolyston. I yelled my girlfriend's name but got no response. I continued to Comm Ave. There were another 75 runners stopped there. I yelled her name again but got no response.

Crossing Mass Ave, I did the same with the couple hundred runners stopped there. As I walked through the crowd, I told people that they should text people and let them know that they were ok. The runners were all very relaxed--if anything they were confused. With no response, I continued running down Comm Ave towards Fenway.

It was surreal. The crowds were still cheering. They were still 5 deep. The runners were still running. A police officer told me that I needed to get off of the course. I firmly told him that I wouldn't step foot on the sidewalk. I stayed as far away from the crowds as possible. When I hit Fenway, I knew that I had gone too far. I turned around and continued my sprint. As I passed below the Storrow Drive Ramp, I was finally able to get through to my girlfriend. She was stopped at Comm and Mass Ave--before the underpass.

We met at the 2A sign. I was all tears. She didn't understand why. All they had told the runners was that there was an explosion. Nothing more. I told her that we needed to reach her parents quickly. We needed to let them know that we were ok. With no cell reception, we posted on twitter and facebook.

Walking back to the apartment, it was clear that most didn't understand what had happened.

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