Two of the nation's largest running magazines are based in the Lehigh Valley, and most of their staffs were at the Boston Marathon during Monday's bomb blasts. Rodale Publishing, based in Emmaus, said the roughly two dozen staffers from "Runner's World" and "Running Times" are all safe and accounted for.
"At least half of the Runners World editorial staff was in Boston for the marathon," said Peter Flax, the former executive editor of Runner's World. "I know quite a few staffers actually were in the media room, which is near the finish line."
Around 25 local employees were either covering the race, or competing in it, when Monday's twin blasts broke out. Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso was just one block away.
"They were loud, and I mean, very loud," he said of the explosions. "You could see the smoke, which turned out to be from the second explosion … It was just a chaotic scene at first, but I'll tell you, the first responders got control of things right away."
As of Monday night, many of the magazines' editors and writers were still locked-down in a media room above the blast site. Yasso hopes to get everyone home by Tuesday.
Yasso and Flax both said security is usually very tight for major marathons because they're easy targets.
"I go to these races all over the world, and I've always felt safe, because I know their event directors and I know the precautionary measures that they take," said Yasso.
Flax said it's nearly impossible to provide complete security for a marathon.
"Boston PD, and NYPD in the New York Marathon, spent a lot of time looking at these kinds of contingencies," he said. "But it's not like the Super Bowl, where you just have one building you're trying to protect. This is a 26-mile course."
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News