Wednesday, December 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis man finishes Boston Marathon minutes ahead of blasts

Mick and Pam Petersen — shown here in a family photo — were in Boston on Monday as Mick competed in the Boston Marathon, finishing just minutes before the bombing. After a few tense minutes Mick, rear, and Pam found each other and they later were able to contact their three sons — from left, Nate, Matt and Drew — to report that they were OK. Courtesy photo

By
From page B1 | April 16, 2013 |

BOSTON — Mick Petersen’s Achilles tendon has been bothering him for some time.

But after qualifying for this year’s Boston Marathon, Petersen wasn’t going to let the nagging injury keep him from his dream trip — running in Monday’s Patriots Day event.

“I was disappointed in my time, 4 hours and 1 minute,” Petersen told The Enterprise by phone.

That’s the bad news.

The good news? Petersen’s tendon held up and the Davis man’s determination allowed him to cross the finish line less than eight minutes before a pair of nearby bomb blasts killed three people and injured scores of others.

Twenty-five Davis runners — including a large contingent from the Golden Valley Harriers — were entered in the race.

Local GVH President Steve Andrews posted information from Boston on the organization’s Facebook site, reporting the names of area people he personally had contact with, verifying their safety. Club official Craighton Chin told The Enterprise late Monday that all 17 of his group’s runners were accounted for and OK.

Sam Bird, Michael Park, Jason Cavatorta, Greg Loge, Cristina Ramirez, John Burmester, Laurin Beckhusen, Dan Landherr, Clariza Aguillon-Doms and Matt Young are all GVH runners confirmed to be survivors, according to Andrews’ postings.

Local runners Beckhusen and Jim Flanigan weren’t finished when the bombs went off. Police redirected the pair — along with hundreds of other marathoners — off the normal course, blocks before the finish line.

Area physician Flanigan has had 26 consecutive finishes since 1985 (and 27 total counting his first Boston finish in 1977), making him part of the Boston Marathon Quarter Century Club, according to Chin.

Each member of this elite group of marathoners has at least 25 consecutive finishes in Boston.

“As with many runners, the Boston Marathon has always had a strong appeal to me,” Flanigan said before leaving for Massachusetts. “I have appreciated it differently during each decade of my life, from the 20s through my 60s.”

A decision undoubtedly will be made as to whether Flanigan and the others will get credit for finishing.

Back to the Petersens …

“It was a little closer than I would have liked. It’s just horrible, for sure,” said Petersen, a Sutter Medical Group orthopedist. “I was about two blocks away, getting my clothes. … I just finished when I heard the first bomb go off.

“I looked down the street and saw this big mushroom cloud come up. I knew immediately it was a terrorist attack.”

Petersen’s thoughts turned instantly to his wife, Pam.

“That was my biggest concern … then another bomb went off,” Mick Petersen said. “I knew she was going to the (post-race) meeting area for families.”

Exhausted from his just-completed 26-mile jaunt, Petersen took off on a painful jog …

“I didn’t know if she was there or not,” the patriarch of one of Davis’ top running families continued. “I got there and (Pam) wasn’t there. It made my heart drop.”

With thousands of spectators, emergency services personnel and race participants moving in chaotic spasms around him, Petersen suddenly caught a glimpse of his wife — safe, sound and shaken.

“It sounded to me like things falling off a construction site,” Pam Petersen told The Enterprise. “I was about three blocks away when it happened. Mick was closer. I was very worried when … (I found out) it was bombs.”

The uncertainty of those minutes separated after the blast gave way to relief when the pair reunited, uninjured. Then a sense of urgency to get back to their hotel set in.

Just minutes after running for four hours, Mick Petersen would be on the move again.

“My poor, hobbling husband and I walked the rest of the way back to the hotel,” Pam recounted. “We didn’t feel it was safe to take the subway — we found out later they closed part of it anyway — so we walked the rest of the way, about a mile and half.”

While the Petersens were clearing harm’s way, Boston police were trying to secure the area.

Emergency services staff had to painstakingly go from bag to bag under the assumption that each was a potential explosive device.

Meanwhile, the Davis track community was concerned for the safety of the Petersens, who have three sons — Matt, Drew and Nathan — back on the West Coast.

UC Davis student Drew is a cross country and distance assistant for the Davis High squad and Matt is in his senior year as a Cal track standout. DHS grad Nate, a Special Olympics participant, volunteers at Blue Devil meets and still works out with his beloved Devils.

DHS cross country coach Bill Gregg had been in touch with the Petersens and track coach Spencer Elliott said he was relieved to know the pair were safe: “They mean so much to our program, our community.”

Pam is a recently retired pediatrician who is a key volunteer in area organizations and a regular at the scorer’s table at Blue Devil track meets.

So, will Mick be back to Boston in 2014?

“I don’t think so,” the exhausted runner said from his hotel room. “This was my dream. I did it.”

Pam Petersen says she and her husband plan to “hunker down here (Monday) and catch a flight out (Tuesday).”

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration warned pilots that it had created a no-fly zone over the blast site.

Notes: Boston Marathon runners registered as being Davis residents or locally affiliated are Clariza Aguillon-Doms, Stephen W. Andrews, Rachel Bailey, Beckhusen, Samuel Bird, Brian Breitbard, John Burmester, Jason Cavatorta, Michael Fan, Bruce Fisher, Flanigan, Stephen Fleming, Peter Kerr, Heather Kormure-Chan, Gregory Lee, Ki Lee, Greg Loge, Mick Petersen, Amber Roegner, Stella Ruiz, Azniv Sutton, Chaochun Wang, Bruce Wright, Di Wu, Lin Yang and Matthew Young. … Lost in the tragedy: Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the men’s and women’s Boston Marathon. Desisa finished in 2:10.22. Jeptoo’s 2:26.25 came 104 minutes before all hell broke loose.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Supervisors remove Saylor from First 5 Yolo Commission

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    GPAS and test scores up for UCD’s newest undergrads

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A1

     
    Million Cat Challenge aims to rescue shelter felines

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Everest visit fulfills judge’s lifelong dream

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Water officials fret over rain’s effects

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: Not enough hours in the month

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Fatal Capay crash leads to driver’s arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo Crisis Nursery in full swing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Beer and film tour boosts bike group’s coffers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fibro Friends will update their journals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Input sought on county’s facility needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Have coffee with the mayor on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stockings brighten holidays for special kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Evening tai chi classes start Jan. 6

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Name Droppers: Law prof earns peace prize for nonfiction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Community menorah lighting set Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Latest immunization data shows little improvement locally

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    School board will vote on repairs, new portables

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

     
    Study: National monument could boost local economy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Round up at the registers for Patwin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Parent/toddler art and music program offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Come Worship with Us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    This ought to teach her love

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Language failed me that night, but not now

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A8

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

     
    Grand jury function clarified

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Defying Western academic norms

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Boycotters are our future profs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Many thanks to The Avid Reader

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

     
    UCD reveals a challenging softball schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tumey talks about state of Aggie athletics, where they’re headed

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis gets Rio Linda as Curry Invitational starts Thursday

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Former Aggie Descalso inks deal with Colorado

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Some vegetables just can’t be beet

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6