More than 300 runners from Chicago and hundreds more from the surrounding area were participating in Monday's Boston Marathon which was rocked by a series of explosions at the finish line around 2 p.m. Central.
According to the marathon's website, 361 runners from Chicago were entered in the race.
(Read LIVE UPDATES on the Boston Marathon explosions. Scroll down for resources on finding loved ones.)
Several area running organizations sent groups to the marathon, including Fleet Feet Sports and the Chicago Area Runners Association.
Fleet Feet, which sponsored more than 80 runners, sent a Facebook update late Monday announcing all of their affiliated participants were safe following the blast.
(See resources for finding loved ones connected to the Boston Marathon explosion below.)
Wendy Jaehn, CARA's executive director ran the race and was confirmed by the organization to be safe, along with Megan Sullivan, CARA's training program manager. Jaehn told the Sun-Times she had finished the race and was en route to the airport when she was contacted about the news.
Experience Triathlon, a Naperville-based suburban runners' group partaking in the Boston Marathon, said their participants are safe. Arlington Heights Patch reports the village's mayor-elect Tom Hayes was at Monday's race and called friends and family to report he, too, was safe.
Diane Montiel, 63, from Chicago, recounted the frantic moments searching for her daughter after the explosions to the Tribune.
“As the marathon was coming through, you have the grandstands and I was in there," Montiel told the paper. "As I was sitting there, I was using my camera. My daughter had crossed and I was waiting for her friends to come by. We heard an explosion. We thought, 'Oh, what’s that.' Then there was a second. That second explosion was stronger."
According to CBS Chicago's Mai Martinez, the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications said following the Boston explosions, there was "no known threat" to Chicago.
"I called Mayor Thomas Menino this afternoon to convey support from the people of Chicago. During this time of tragedy and uncertainty, the people of Boston are in our thoughts and prayers. The running of the Boston Marathon and Patriots Day are time-honored traditions. While the details of today’s tragedy are still unclear, one thing was immediately known: the patriotism and professionalism of public servants and first responders. Our hearts go out the first responders, runners, volunteers and spectators in Boston today."
The Boston Globe has video of the shocking scene (WARNING: Some disturbing sounds and images) which race officials later said was triggered by two bombs that detonated near the finish of the race on Boylston Street in downtown Boston.
Two people were confirmed dead, with at least more than 100 injured, many critically, as of early Monday evening. Later, a third person was confirmed dead in the attack. Among those killed was an 8-year-old boy.
Marathon officials announced of the 23,326 official starters, 17,584 finished the race while 4,496 runners crossed the 40K mark (a little more than 24 miles) but did not finish, reports Boston Globe sportswriter Michael Vega.
Resources for finding loved ones:
The Red Cross — an official charity for the marathon — has a "Safe and Well" site set up as “a way for people affected by a disaster to enter information regarding their welfare so family and friends can check their status.”
Google has also set up a "Person Finder" where the public can search for people and also provide information on those possibly affected.
Those in the Boston area and trying to get in touch with family/friends are being told to call the following hotlines: 617-635-4500 from a landline phone; for tips relating to a possible suspect, call the hotline at 800-494-TIPS.
To find if a loved one registered to participate in the Boston Marathon, visit this website.