ST. CHARLES, MO. (KTVI) - A St. Charles couple, both marathon runners, escaped injury at the Boston Marathon bombing by seconds. Howard Mayes crossed the finish line as the first bomb exploded just yards away. His wife Karen was a spectator Monday. She was halfway between the two bomb sites taking pictures of her husband at the 26.1 mile marker. She heard the first explosion as she turned into an alley on the opposite side of the street.
Howard Mayes recorded the last minute of his race with a hand held mini video camera. You can hear the first bomb explode as he runs over the finish line marker. "I started moving away and noticed people were looking back and that's when I turned the video camera back and picked up the smoke in the sky."
Karen Mayes wasn't sure what had occurred. "I was about five feet into the alley and I heard the explosion and it was a loud, loud explosion. I knew it came from where he had to be very near the finish line, so that is what frightened me."
Seconds later another explosion struck the race route. "The second explosion occurred and at that point I figured it was some sort of a bomb," Howard Mayes recalled.
Thursday he forwarded his video to the Boston Police and the FBI. "They are asking for video and this might be helpful."
The 62 year old retired engineer and college instructor qualified for the Boston Marathon last year. Monday he finished it in four hours, nine minutes and 34 seconds. "To run it was a fantastic experience and then when I wasn't sure what was happening to Karen just questioning..it didn't seem like it had value," he said.
The couples had difficulty reaching each other on their cell phones at first, but were reunited in about twenty minutes at the family meeting area set up several blocks past the finish line.
Despite the deadly attack both plan to continue running marathons. They want to run one in each of the nation's fifty states. Karen Mayes is Director of Nursing Education at St. Louis Community College. She has completed 32 marathons. Her husband has 49 under his belt.